Israel Declares Itself a Principally Jewish State With Passage of Controversial Law
By SOFIE WERTHAN JULY 19, 2018 2:28 PM
After hours of heated debate, Israel’s legislature passed a controversial law Thursday that declares the country a principally Jewish state, further inflaming tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. The legislation, commonly known as the nation-state law, has been hailed by its supporters as the fulfillment of Zionism’s fundamental goals. Opponents criticize the law as racist and anti-democratic.
The law is a largely symbolic measure, but it is bound to further fracture the relationship between Israel’s Jewish majority and its non-Jewish Arab minority, which constitutes 21 percent of the country’s population. Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence explicitly enshrined equal social and political rights to all residents, but many non-Jewish Israeli citizens—especially Arab people—insist that they are treated as second-class citizens. Read more here.