Jews, Arabs Rally To Protest Israel’s Nation-State Law In Tel Aviv

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"It is the Jewish state but the people that live here are entitled to be equal to us across the board in education, in the army, in the universities, in the parliament - all over."

Israel

Tens of thousands of Palestinians including Arabs and Jews protested against Israel’s nation-state law which basically robs off minorities of their rights.

Demonstrators waving Israeli and Palestinian flags marched from Rabin Square to the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art calling for the cancellation of the controversial "Jewish state law.” According to the new state-nation law, Israel is declared as the nation state for the Jewish people – hence marginalizing the non-Jewish citizens living in Israel.

The new law discriminates against almost 1.8 million Palestinians and other minorities that live with an Israeli citizenship.

"We, a lot of Israelis, believe that they [minorities] are entitled to be equal to us," protester Dan Meiri said. "It is the Jewish state but the people that live here are entitled to be equal to us across the board in education, in the army, in the universities, in the parliament - all over," said a Jewish demonstrator.

"This is amazing. This is the first time I remember Jews and Palestinians fighting together for something. This is a really big moment for people that believe in democracy and equality," said another protester.

According to experts, the law will make discrimination against non-Jewish citizens constitutional.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the crowd of protesters holding Palestinian flags in strong words, claiming Israel needs a nation-state law. "There is no better testimony for the necessity of the nation-state law. We will continue to wave the Israeli flag proudly and sing the anthem (Hatikva) with even greater pride," he wrote on Twitter.

 

Netanyahu’s comment about Hatikva being the language of Israel discriminates against the Arabic language. Before this law, both Hebrew and Arabic were official languages for Israel.

His argument suggests that Arabs are trespassers in Israel, which is clearly not the case. "This law is against us, against the Arabic language, against peace, against our future in this land. We are the real people of this land," said demonstrator Omar Sultan.

"We have anti-democratic moves taking place in many things - towards gays, towards women, towards secularism, and towards Palestinians. This is turning into a fascist regime," said another protester.

Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Ammar Awad

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