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Shaked Warns High Court against Revoking Jewish Nation-State Law

 Shaked Warns High Court against Revoking Jewish Nation-State Law

An NGO that represents Israel's Arab minority petitioned Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday against a controversial "Jewish Nation-State" law approved last month by Israel's parliament. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said in a statement on Tuesday that the law "has distinct apartheid characteristics" and denies "civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland".

The nation-state law passed by the Knesset July 19 for the first time enshrines Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people", and says "the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people".

Adalah lawyers also argued that the Jewish nation-state law negates the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in violation of the United Nations charter, and that the law's application to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights also stands in violation of global law, which specifies that these areas are occupied by Israel.

The Netanyahu government says the new law merely enshrines the country's existing character, and that Israel's democratic nature and provisions for equality are already anchored in existing legislation.

The leaders of the protest are retired senior officers who have fought for the Jewish state and seek equal rights.

The petition says that the law is "racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights and contravenes global human rights norms, especially those forbidding laws that constitute a racist constitution".

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The Basic Laws of Israel are the constitutional laws that can only be changed by a super-majority vote in the Israeli Knesset, hence the constitutional underpinning of the Israeli justice system.

Nonetheless, Adalah's petition asserts that Article 7 still designates Arabs in Israel as the perpetual "other", allowing the state to discriminate against them in allocation of housing, land, and other public resources.

The other petitions were submitted by Druze MKs Akram Hassoun, Saleh Saad and Hamada Amar, representatives of the Bedouin communities and the Meretz party.

At least 50,000 Israelis attended a Druze-led demonstration against the law in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday night. "The military cemeteries and hundreds of martyrs testify to this, and as we fight for the existence of the state, we are determined to fight for the right to live with equality and dignity".

It announces the country as a nation state of the Jewish people and makes Hebrew the country's national language.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Sunday warned of an "earthquake" if Israel's High Court of Justice struck down the legislation in response to the petitions. "There is a consensus about these values", Shaked told Army Radio.