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Another Chapter of Racism
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
May 19, 2017

The Israeli government is seeking to legislate a new text for the "Nationalism Law".

Those who read the text of the bill were assured that the Zionist institution is working to produce new chapters of the Palestinian Nakba, which affects by its racism, the Palestinians who managed to stay in their lands and properties.

It was normal for Arab parties, that are represented by the "joint list" in Knesset, to consider that the bill is the most dangerous to be deliberated in the recent decades, and to consider the decision of the ministerial committee as a declaration of war against the Palestinians in the 1948 territories.

The Palestinian people nowadays is commemorating the sixty-ninth anniversary of its major Nakba, sticking to the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties.

The anniversary includes many events, one of them is a march to Al-Kabri's village that took part in 1948 lands, where thousands of Palestinians participated in it, especially the young generation who refuted the Israeli saying: "elderly people will death, and young will forget".

"The Nationalism Law", which will be discussed in the Knesset, legitimizes the racist discrimination that has been practiced by the Zionist establishment towards Palestinians. This is a reflection to the apartheid laws, that were applied in South Africa during apartheid era. The law with its (title and content) is a continuation of the Zionist ideological discourse, which contradicts with the laws of sociology and the determinants and characteristics of social and political formations, this discourse also distorts facts starting with giving religion a trait of nationalism in the context of passing the colonial project in Palestine, therefore; the bill supports the requirement of belonging to Jewish religion, in order to grant the civil and political rights for its citizens and make the right of self-determination an exclusive right for them only.

The risks of delineating the bill are not only reflected in trying to support the thought of Jews' superiority over others in Israel, but in trying to "correct" the equation in which the 1948 Palestinians managed to consecrate their presence, despite all discriminatory laws that were practiced and still.

This "correction" begins by preventing the Palestinians from owning a piece of land even if it's owned by their families before Nakba, as the bill restricts citizenship, in the sense of rights to Jews and their descendants.

The project causes problems to the Palestinian personality by its main constituents that constitute its national identity. So, it transfers the status of Arabic language from an official language to a "language with a special status". This means the abolition of cultural immunity in the legal sense, and thus Palestinian political, social and intellectual literature, will be subjected to more severe censorship than before.

But the specification of the right of self-determination to ''Jewish people'' alone is the most dangerous item in the text of the bill, therefore; Palestinians do not have the right to express their aspirations for the future, which they seek outside the Zionist ceiling in granting rights or reducing them down to obliterate them.

Adopting this bill, by the ministerial committee, in preparation for proposing it in Knesset, will necessarily activate anti-Palestinian climate, on the base of incitement which the texts of new bill are full of it.

The law extends in its applications to various fields, including all policies, procedures, laws, projects, plans, distribution of resources and budgets, in accordance with the definition of the state as stated in the text: "The State of Israel is the national home of Jews". by taking into consideration that the adopted policies and the distribution of resources, were carried out according to discriminatory laws and principles under the old text, Palestinians will find themselves in the face of further marginalization and impoverishment, if the new text of the bill is adopted.

This led the components of the "joint list" in Knesset, to declare that they are going to launch a campaign to confront the law with parliamentary procedures, and popularly and internationally, i.e. an open battle should be fought in order to abolish the bill before legalizing it.

In connection with the unity of Palestinian people and its future objectives, the official and popular Palestinian situation should consider the entitlements of political, legal and field support in facing the occupation and its racist and aggressive policies against Palestinian people in all its places of existence. Through this unity, the activities of Palestinian youth uprising moved from occupied territories by the 1967 aggression to 1948 territories, has created a real fear in Israel in both terms the security services and the society.

Like the "uprising of October" that has been made by the Palestinian youth in the occupied territories since 1948, for supporting their brothers in West Bank and Gaza strip, the Zionist projects that affect the interests of Palestinians and their ability to face marginalization and racism form a motivation for the general Palestinian people and its political powers to engage in supporting their brothers in the territories of the 1948.

The bill has put the owners of the land in the «guest place». In the context of facing its legalizing, the components of the "Joint List" are working to constitute a discourse by proposing a democratic, moral and human alternative discourse that rejects the bill and its dangerous consequences on the Palestinians' status in their land and their supposed collective rights.

The bill is an extension of a series of bills that were put forward with the aim of restricting Palestinians and abolishing their political presence. Among these bills is the ''Law of Loyalty'', which requires all people who are active in partisan and parliamentary field to declare allegiance to Jewish state, including its racist and exclusionist policies.

Therefore, the international community and its legal and humanitarian institutions have a responsibility to intervene to prevent the Zionist organization from encroaching upon the rights of Palestinians and continuing to marginalize them in contradiction with the most basic human rights.

We are not only before a racist law, but it specifically legitimizes the colonial racism. Sources from the Joint List have revealed that the bill opens the door for more land confiscation, deportation, demolition of houses and procedures for Judaizing the entire place, because "the state is for Jews only".

Therefore, the international community must put a pressure upon Israel to recognize the equal collective rights for Palestinian Arab minority, which is an indigenous national minority, lives on the soil of its homeland, and their right of full equality is based on the individual civil foundation and on the collective national basis. These rights include the equal status of Arabic language, the promotion of its status and the equal distribution of public budgets.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Hasan Barazi
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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