Nation-State Bill Becomes Law | Arab Citizens, State-Minorit...

Nation-State Bill Becomes Law | Arab Citizens, State-Minority and Jewish-Arab Relations

July 20, 2018

After being proposed and postponed for nearly a decade, the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, (see English translation here) was passed into law on July 19th (62:55). While significantly revised from its original version, this law remains highly controversial for tipping the delicate balance between Israel's dual commitments to its democratic and Jewish character. Arab citizens, Israel's largest non-Jewish population, have been vehemently opposed to the legislation out of concerns that it diminishes the promise of equal citizenship and legitimizes discrimination by law and in public discourse.

 

Listen to a recording of a Task Force conference call, held Monday, July 30, with Dr. Amir Fuchs, from the Israeli Democracy Institute, and Mohammad Darawshe, from Givat Haviva, about the current and potential implications of this law for Israeli democracy, and for Israel's Arab society in terms of status, sense of belonging and related discourse.

 


About the Speakers

Dr. Amir Fuchs is head of the Defending Democratic Values Program at the Israel Democracy Institute. Dr. Amir Fuchs holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a lecturer in the Politics and Communication Department at the School of Government and Social Sciences at Hadassah Academic College. From 2005 to 2011, he served as a member of the Minister of Justice's Commission for Amending the Israeli Homicide Law.

Mohammad Darawshe has been the Director of the Center for Equality and Shared Society at Givat Haviva since 2014 (as well as between 2000 and 2005). He is also a Member of the Three-sector Roundtable at the Prime Minister's office and the Strategic Planning Team Authority for Economic Development of Minorities Sector. He previously was Co-Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives (2005-13), an elected Council Member of his hometown Iksal (2008-2013) as well as Elections Campaign Manager for the Democratic Arab Party/United Arab List (1992-2000). In 2009, he served as a member of the National Committee which drafted a landmark Coexistence Education Policy. From 1986 to 1992, he was Program Director at Legacy International in Washington D.C. after having served as Parliamentary Assistant in the Knesset from 1984 to 1986. Mohammad holds Master’s Degrees in Peace & Conflict Management from Haifa University and in Public Administration from Hartford University, as well as Bachelor’s Degrees in English & Political Science from Hebrew University and in Multi-Disciplinary Political Science from Emek Yizrael College. Mohammad’s lectures and papers have been delivered at the European Parliament, NATO Defense College, the World Economic Forum, Club de Madrid, US Congress, the Herzlia Conference, and Israel's Presidential Conference. Mohammad is currently a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy and a Shalom Hartman Institute Fellow. He is the recipient of the Peacemakers Award from the Catholic Theological Union, the Peace and Security Award from the World Association of NGOs, as well as the Leadership Fellow of the New Israel Fund. Mohammad frequently appears on Arab Satellite TV news programs analyzing current Israeli political and social trends.

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