Joint (Arab) List chairman Ayman Odeh issues a harsh condemnation of legislation seeking to define Israel as a Jewish nation-state, calling the Sunday decision by ministers to support the so-called Jewish State bill a “declaration of war” on Israel’s Arab citizens.
“Discrimination has received a legal stamp. The danger in this law in that is establishes two classes of citizen – Jewish and Arab,” Odeh writes in a statement responding to a unanimous vote by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in favor of Likud MK Avi Dichter’s proposal.
According to the language of the proposal, while every individual has the right “to preserve his culture, heritage, language and identity,” the right to realize self-determination “is unique to the Jewish people.”
In another controversial clause, Arabic would be relegated from an official language to one with “special status,” for which its speakers would be ensured the “right to accessible state services.”