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31 January 2015

The Real Debate Over Israel's ‘Jewish Nation-State’ Bill


It’s not about whether systematic discrimination against Arab citizens should continue—it’s about whether it should be codified in explicitly racist legislation

The traditional camp's concern is therefore not to eliminate the discrimination, but rather to conceal it in order to preserve the state's image internationally.

In contrast, the Netanyahu government's goal is to make Jewish supremacy apparent and to make Arab citizens explicitly inferior--both in the Arabs' own eyes and in the eyes of Jews. As such, the Nation-State legislation is anti-Arab and racist at its core.

For these reasons, the debate between the two camps is not about whether discrimination should or should not be stopped, but rather about how to continue it. Ironically, the Netanyahu government's approach is consistent with the formal principle of the rule of law.

But this also exposes the clear similarity between the current Israeli government and the former apartheid regime of South Africa, which explicitly anchored the practice of racial supremacy in legislation.