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New Israeli Discriminatory Laws

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New Israeli Discriminatory Laws - by Stephen Lendman

In April, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel discussed six new laws passed during the Knesset's 2011 winter term "that directly or indirectly target the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel." 

Overall, they're treated like a fifth column, denied equal rights as Jews in a country just as much theirs. More so, in fact, as their forebears lived there for centuries or longer. 

Each new law is discussed briefly below.

(1) "Duty of disclosure for recipients of support from a foreign political entity - 2011"

Imposing restrictions on foreign funding of human rights organizations, it established two parliamentary committees of inquiry to investigate them, "a tactic commonly used by authoritarian regimes to control the activities of" groups they target.

In fact, attacking human rights organizations that represent or defend the rights of vulnerable groups shows "the mask of democratic norms in Israel today is off."

(2) The "Nakba Law"

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When first proposed, it banned and criminalized commemorating it as a way to "erase a seminal event in Palestinian history from Israeli consciousness." 

Enacted as the Budget Foundations Law, it lets the finance minister reduce or eliminate funding for any institution or entity engaging in any activity at variance with Israel's definition as a "Jewish and democratic" state, or commemorates Israel's Independence Day as one of mourning.

In other words, it violates Arab history, culture, and right to express, teach, or disseminate it freely. Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) will petition Israel's Supreme Court to annul the law, despite rarely ever getting favorable rulings, and when issued sitting governments have violated them with impunity.

(3) "Law to Amend the Cooperative Societies Ordinance"

Known also as the Admissions Committees Law, it permits committees in hundreds of communities and towns on state-controlled land to exclude "socially unsuitable" applicants. This "arbitrary criterion" is thus used to exclude Arabs and others for reasons real democracies call abhorrent and prohibit.

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Since 2007, Adalah has challenged this policy before Israel's High Court. In March 2011, it filed a new petition to annul it.

(4) "Israeli Lands Law" (Amendment No. 3)

It prevents anyone from selling or renting property for over five years or bequeathing it to "foreigners." They're defined as non-residents or non-citizens of Israel, as well as Jews who automatically may immigrate under Israel's 1950 Law of Return. "This law amounts to illegal, direct interference in the private property of Palestinians, whose refugee relatives may never regain" land rightfully theirs.

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