Dangerous law: on Israel’s ‘nation state’ law(Hindu summary-20th July 2018)

www.iasinsights.in ; www.iasgyaan.com posts Hindu summary about Israel passing bill that declares its Jewish state.

Dangerous law: on Israel’s ‘nation state’ law

The Hindu

Context:

Israeli parliament passes contentious Jewish nation bill

What is the bill about?

  • It defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people but which critics warn sidelines minorities.
  • Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence defined its nature as a Jewish and democratic state, a delicate balance the country has grappled to maintain for 70 years.

Criticism:

  • It marginalizes the country’s Arab minority of around 20 per cent and also downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing.
  • The law “puts at risk the commitment of Israel’s founders to build a country that is both Jewish and democratic.
  • It sends a message to the Arab community, the LGBT community and other minorities in Israel, that they are not and never will be equal citizens.
  • The new Basic Law sets the stage for that transition, challenging the basic concepts of equality, which even Israel’s declaration of independence promised to all its inhabitants
  • The legislation is called racist and a form of apartheid aimed at creating two systems within one country.
  • The emphasis on Jerusalem and the promise to promote settlements pose a direct threat to any peace process with the Palestinians.

What is Jerusalem issue?

  • Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their political capital and as a sacred religious site. Israel controls the entirety of the city. Any peace deal would need to resolve that.
  • The city’s status has been disputed, at least officially, since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Before that, the United Nations had designated Jerusalem as a special international zone. During the war, Israel seized the city’s western half. It seized the eastern half during the next Arab-Israeli war, in 1967.
  • Most foresee a peace deal that gives western Jerusalem to Israel and eastern Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state.
  • The United States, in order to present itself as a dispassionate broker, long considered Jerusalem’s status to be a conflict issue that was up to Israelis and Palestinians to decide. Mr. Trump is breaking with that traditional neutrality.
  • A 1980 law declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “undivided” capital, which was widely understood as a de facto annexation of the city’s eastern half.
  • In 2018 Trump want to recognize Jerusalem as Capital of Israel in Jerusalem Declaration

Way forward:

Israel’s declaration as a Jewish state will definitely affect the peace trying process in stabilizing Israel-Palestine conflict. This also makes the global powers to sideline their favorites creating another bone of contention to the existing problems.

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