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Israeli president stands up against Arab discrimination

In a letter to the prime minister and the Knesset, President Reuven Rivlin pleaded with Benjamin Netanyahu to remove a clause in the proposed Nationality Law that would make it legal to deny Arabs the right to live in Jewish villages.
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Various proposals for a new Basic Law, formally known as “Israel: The Nation State of the Jewish People,” or the “Nationality Law” for short, have been sitting before the Knesset for several years now. The proposed law is intended to protect the rights of the Jewish majority, infuriate and dishonor Israel’s Palestinian population and prove that the people behind the law are true patriots. Beyond establishing the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, it also cements the status of the anthem, the flag and Independence Day. It declares that a “united Greater Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the official language, while Arabic (which is also an official language in Israel, with the same status as Hebrew) would become “a language with special status.”

However, the most troubling sentence in the new proposal appears in Article 7 (b), which states, “The state may allow the community, including members of one religion or of one nationality/ethnicity, to maintain separate communal settlement.” Since very few Jews want to settle in Arab villages, the clause means that Jews can use the law to prevent Arabs from settling among them.

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