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Israel's nationality law knows no boundaries

Israel's new nationality law undermines its prospects of being a state like any other, with recognized boundaries, living in peace and security with its neighbors.
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The recently adopted nationality law, anchoring Israel’s Jewish character, has been challenged by numerous petitions against it. On Aug. 5, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red lines, as well.

As Ron Skolnik wrote for Al-Monitor Aug. 9, the language of the legislation echoes a series of laws, regulations and declarations that pave the way in principle for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. To be precise, the idea is to annex the land, not its non-Jewish inhabitants. Such action would truly be tantamount to a declaration of war on the Palestinians and the Arab world with a gross violation of international law and international agreements to which Israel is a signatory.

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