The Jewish nation-state law was passed yesterday by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member Parliament after months of political argument.
“Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people”, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote.
Palestinians view the Jewish nation-state law as another instrument of apartheid.
Benny Begin, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who was the founder of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, abstained from voting, warning of the party’s growing disconnect from human rights.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties, waved a black flag in protest moments after the vote.
Ahmad Tibi, a veteran Arab legislator, wrote on Twitter, “The official beginning of fascism and apartheid. A black day (another black day),”Yael German, a lawmaker from the centrist opposition party Yesh Atid, called the law “a poison pill for democracy.”
The Bill has passed, despite thousands protesting in Tel Aviv earlier this week rejecting the proposal.
Clause 7B of the Bill allows the state to “authorize a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.” The law also states that Hebrew is the official language in the state.
This will create more discrimination against the minorities in the community especially towards Arabs who are continuously being forced to leave their homes.
With the Trump administration providing a never-before-seen degree of American support, Mr. Netanyahu’s government has advantages on multiple fronts.
Commenting on the new law, Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu said, “This is our state, the Jewish state.”