The Mission of the State of Palestine would like to share this briefing with you on the latest developments concerning Israel’s racist and discriminatory Citizenship Law. Calls for the repeal of this law have been made by Amnesty International, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Al Haq and Adalah among others.
The Israeli government failed to secure the vote to renew the extension of the “Nationality and Entry into Israel Law – 2003”, which bans the unification of Palestinian families in Israel and in occupied East Jerusalem, predominantly Palestinians with Israeli citizenship married to Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The order passed 18 years ago and has been annually renewed until this week. However, The Israeli Interior Ministry will still have full authority to deny citizenship or residency to individuals on a case-by-case basis.
This law is one of the most discriminatory and racist laws against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. Denying residency or citizenship to spouses on the basis of their spouses’ national, racial, or ethnic affiliation is a violation of the principle of non-discrimination.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described the law thus
“There’s no need to hide from the purpose of the [citizenship] law. It’s one of the tools meant to secure a Jewish majority in Israel. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and our goal is that it will have a Jewish majority.”
Adalah legal centre, who challenged the law in court, has said
“This Law is one of the most discriminatory and racist laws promulgated by Israel, and thus it must be condemned and revoked. No democratic country in the world denies residency or citizenship to spouses of its own citizens on the basis of their spouses’ national, racial, or ethnic affiliation, while simultaneously labelling them as enemies.”
Human Rights Organisation Hamoked have said
“this is one of many policies whose purpose is to maintain the “demographic balance” in Israel – that is, protecting the Jewish majority in the country, at the expense of the basic rights of its Arab citizens and residents.”
The Israeli legal system and this law were used as a demographic tool to maintain and expand the Jewish majority. The rights of Palestinians are being subjugated in favour of demographic engineering and ethnic cleansing.
Palestinians will not give up their rights and will continue to call on the international community to recognize and acknowledge these apartheid and discriminatory laws that violate the basic rights of the Palestinians. Pressure must be brought to bear upon the Israeli government to eliminate this inhuman law that represents a grave violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD); the UN Charter; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Israel as a State Party to most of these treaties, Israel is in breach of its fundamental international legal obligation.