Israeli ministers back nation-state bill delisting Arabic as official language

590f02e6c361888e278b4569

‘A ministerial legislation committee has approved a controversial bill that seeks to enshrine Israel’s status as a nation state of the Jewish people, but critics say it would undermine democracy and could lead to discrimination of non-Jews.

The proposed bill would become a new Basic Law, which serve as Israel’s constitutional legislation. It would declare Israel a Jewish nation state and a unique realization of its right to self-determination. It would also set Hatikva as the country’s national anthem, describe the country’s national symbol and flag, and designate Hebrew as Israel’s only official language, although Arabic would be given special status. The bill also mentions the Right of Return – the right of ethnic Jews to receive Israeli citizenship.

Critics of the bill say it makes non-Jews de facto second-rate citizens in Israel, arguing that its emphasis on Jewish identity undermines the country’s commitment to being a democratic state, as is stated in its Basic Laws.’

Read more: Israeli ministers back nation-state bill delisting Arabic as official language