Jewish nation state: A controversial bill passed in Israel’s Parliament

The Jewish nation-state bill has been passed in Israel’s parliament, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and removes Arabic as an official language of the country. The law passed after a stormy debate that stretched more than eight hours. It was passed into by a vote of 62 in favor, 55 against.

The bill was hailed as a defining moment in the annals of  Zionism by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he said 122 years after Herzl who is officially referred to as the spiritual father of the Jewish State” published his vision, we have stated by law the basic principle of our existence.

About 20% of Israel’s population of nine million are Arab – with an additional 2.8 million Palestinians living in the Israel-occupied West Bank and about 1.7 million in the Gaza Strip. But immediately after the law was passed, Arab lawmakers tore up copies in the protest calling it as a “racist bill”.

We are now seeing with shock the death of our democracy, which has been dying in recent years, and suffering from the racism that has hit a new peak with this bill, said MK Ahmed Tibi who is an Arab-Muslim Israeli politician and the leader of the Arab Movement for Change.