On Thursday, a law was passed on Israel, which defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state. According to the “nation-state” law, Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they possess exclusive rights to execute national self-determination in it.
The law also declines Arabic as an official language and states that promoting Jewish settlement is in the nation’s interest. Also, it was said that Arabic will no longer be the official language alongside Hebrew as it has been declined to a unique status, which ensures its continued use in official institutions. “Whole and united” Jerusalem is its capital, the law added.
The country’s right-wing government backed the bill and it was made into law after almost 8 hours of debates in the Israel’s parliament. Out of the 120-member parliament, 62 legislators voted for the bill, 55 were against it and 2 were abstained.
After the vote, Arab MP Ahmed Tibi stated with a shock and sorrow that it is the death of democracy. Many Israeli Arabs have stated that the law to be racist and several Arab members of the parliament, soon after the vote of the law, condemned it and ripped up the papers.
The country’s population is made up of about 20% Arabs. Despite having full rights under the law, they have always complained about the discrimination and second-class treatment. After the voting, Prime Minister, Benjamin, who defended the law, stated that it was a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and in the history of the state of Israel.