Netanyahu Considers Nation-State Law Arab Protests New Challenge for Israel

Published August 14th, 2018 - 05:05 GMT
Thousands protest in Tel Aviv against Nation State Law (Twitter)
Thousands protest in Tel Aviv against Nation State Law (Twitter)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered the demonstrations against the Nation-State Law a new challenge for Israel.

This came in the context of his comments on a demonstration that was held on Saturday against the racist Nation-State law and attended by more than 40 thousand people; half of them were Jews.

Netanyahu linked the demonstration with Hamas’s launching of rockets into Israel.

 

 

"We saw PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) flags in the heart of Tel Aviv. We heard the calls: 'With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine'," Netanyahu was quoted as saying during the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Many of the demonstrators want to abrogate the Law of Return, cancel the national anthem, fold up our flag and cancel Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and turn it – as their spokespersons said – into an Israeli-Palestinian state, and others say: A state of all its citizens,” he told his ministers.

“It is for precisely this that we passed the Nation-State Law. We are proud of our state, our flag and our national anthem. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state,” Netanyahu said.

The controversial law, approved on July 19, recognizes Israel as a Jewish State, grants only Jews the right of self-determination and abolishes Arabic as an official language.

Tens of thousands rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the contentious law.

Dozens of activists waved Palestinian flags in defiance of a request by organizers at the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, who wanted to encourage the Jewish population to attend the march in solidarity.

Protesters carried signs in Hebrew and Arabic demanding “Justice and equality now” and others calling the law “apartheid.”

It was the second major protest against the law in recent weeks. Thousands of Druze, also members of the Arab minority, packed the same city square last week.

Head of Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Mohammed Barake said that Arabs and Jews had gathered to "remove the stain" of what Netanyahu's government had termed the "nation-state law."

"Today, there is no constitution in the world that has a clause that makes the state and its purpose the property of one ethnic group, determining that it is exclusively the state of a specific ethnic group.”

"There is not one constitution in the world that does not include in its clauses the right to equality for all of its citizens and residents," Barake said.

"We are here together," he said. "Arabs and Jews. To say it's unacceptable – neither apartheid nor genocide”.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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