The Israeli Parliament has approved the controversial ‘Jewish nation state’ law, which protects the Jewish identity of Israel and defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state. The bill says Israel is the ‘homeland’ of the Jewish people and Hebrew is its only official language degrading Arabic.
By 62 votes in favor and 55 against, the Knesset (the Israeli Chamber) finally approved the bill after an intense debate. Amid tremendous controversy, some described it as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘death of democracy’.
There are around 9 million Israeli Arabs in the country which of 20% of the total population. They have equal rights under the law to be recognized as Israeli citizens except the fact that many complain of being treated as the second-class citizens.
Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, ‘We will keep ensuring civil rights in Israel`s democracy but the majority also has rights and the majority decides.’
After the bill was passed the prime minister called it ‘a pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the State of Israel.’