A protester carries a sign during a demonstration by Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign protesters against Israeli apartheid policies, Jan. 23, 2019. (AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)
The Israeli Supreme Court in a 10 to 1 decision, today upheld the 2018 Jewish Nation-State Basic Law, which enshrines Jewish supremacy and racial segregation as foundational principles of the State of Israel.
The only dissenting opinion was issued by the only Arab justice on the court, Justice Kara.
Commenting of this decision, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said, "The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law."
Although Adalah explicitly noted such international law violations in the petition that it filed on behalf of the Palestinian Arab leadership in Israel, the Attorney General and the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, decided to ignore and disregard these violations in their responses to the case.
The Supreme Court also delivered this judgment without any serious discussion of these issues – the court held a hearing only for one day on 22 December 2020 on 15 petitions filed against the law - and without issuing an order nisi (an order to show cause) that would have obliged the State to respond to the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including treaties that Israel has signed and ratified.
"The Israeli Supreme Court has not protected Palestinians from the most racist laws in the world, since World War II and the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Rather, the Court upheld the Citizenship Law, banning Palestinian family unification in Israel; the Admissions’ Committees Law, which allows small communities built on state law to discriminate against Palestinian families using the criterion of 'social suitability'; the Nakba Law, which prohibits any groups or schools that receive state funding from commemorating the Nakba (the Catastrophe); the Boycott Law, which makes calls for boycott a civil tort, actionable for damages; and now the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law," said Adalah.
Adalah vowed to continue "to work internationally to expose the discriminatory and racist nature of this law, a law which clearly shows the Israeli regime, as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid."