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Turkey: Israel seeks to legalize occupation

25 July 2018

A US -born Israeli author and expert on the Middle East says it was important for the Israeli parliament to pass a Jewish nation bill. Finally, the new law declares Israel "open to Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles" and specifically makes "development of Jewish settlement" a national interest.

"With the full backing of the Trump administration, the Netanyahu government shamelessly seeks to legalize occupation and antagonize the entire Muslim world", Kalin wrote in his column.

Israel's parliament has passed a controversial law characterising the country as principally a Jewish state.

The law, which has near-constitutional power as part of the series of Basic Laws that inform and direct Israel's legislative and judicial branches, defines Israel as the national homeland for the Jewish people and states that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to Jewish people".

The minister also called on the global community to assume its legal, political and moral responsibility and to take urgent action to stand against the newly adopted law.

The American Jewish Committee said it is "deeply disappointed" by the law, first because it "downgrades" Arabic and second because it promotes "Jewish settlement".

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the legislation's passage a "historic moment in the history of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel".

Arab lawmakers protested the bill's approval said it codified apartheid, ripping it up in a symbolic gesture that prompted Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to remove them from the plenum.

Many Jews in Israel and overseas criticized the law.

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The Lower House speaker stressed that safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and applying the worldwide law in the face of Israeli violations is a "Jordanian duty" based on the Hashemite custodianship over these holy sites, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

It is imperative that the global community forces the Jewish state to rescind its latest racist legislation.

"This new law is a clumsy act that takes us several psychological steps back".

"The law did not bring anything new because the same situation already exists in Israel since the founding of the state".

"Rather than celebrating 70 years of independence with an initiative to strengthen the Jewish and democratic values of the Jewish nation-state in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, the Israeli Parliament [Knesset] today passed a law that is jingoistic and divisive", he said.

"This is an evil law", he said and added that "a black flag hovers over it".

Last month, the Knesset presidium rejected out of hand a counter-proposal to the Jewish Nation-State Law: the "State of All its Citizens" law. According to your ethnicity in Israel, you are either an equal citizen - if you are Jewish - or have no right to self determination - if you aren't Jewish - amongst the superior class.

Opponents say the law marginalises the country's Arab minority. Ultimately, the law seems set to lead to more unrest, civil rights abuses and, even, bloodshed. I called it "a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis".

"Israel's nation-state bill is similar to provisions in many Western democratic constitutions, which provide for an official language and national character that reflects the majority of the population".

Turkey: Israel seeks to legalize occupation