Israel officially the Jewish state

EU expresses concern over Israel's Jewish nation-state law

"Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, which honors the individual rights of all its citizens", he said.

"With the full backing of the Trump administration, the Netanyahu government shamelessly seeks to legalize occupation and antagonize the entire Muslim world", Kalin wrote in his column.

The bill designates the state of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, Jerusalem as its capital and Hebrew as its official language.

The European Union's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini expressed her concern, saying the law would complicate a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, has hailed the legislation, describing its passage as a "defining moment for Zionism and Israel". "The Arabs who live here are welcome to live here in freedom".

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What does granting Jews the exclusive right to self-determination look like as Israel advances its creeping annexation of the Palestinian territories?

The author dismisses opponents who complain that the bill marginalizes the country's Arab minority of around 20 percent or that it downgrades Arabic language from official to "special" standing. The law further said that the "whole and united" Jerusalem is the Israeli capital.

Among the legislation's other commitments are promises to develop Jewish communities.

It fills me with deep sorrow that I must today ask the same questions that I asked 14 years ago before the Knesset: can we ignore the intolerable gap between what the declaration of independence promised and the realities of Israel?

Parliamentarians said Arabs are advocates of just and comprehensive peace, one that respects the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arab states that still have some of their territories occupied by Israel, given that this peace respects their dignity and preserves their rights.

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They are described as "third parties who have not been charged in this matter, and who have not been identified publicly with the case".

The law passed 62-55 during a heated session that revealed deep divisions within Israeli society over the religious and democratic character of what many have long called the Jewish state.

Following the vote, Palestinian members of the Knesset shouted and tore up papers.

Even after the changes, critics said the new law will deepen a sense of alienation within the Palestinian Arab minority. "They want to get rid of the Arabs totally", said Yousef Faraj, 53, from the nearby Druze village of Yanuh.

He adds, however, that "when you enshrine a law that Israel is a 'Jewish state, ' you have to go overboard, in my opinion, in making sure that those who aren't Jewish maintain their equality and feel comfortable".

Those points, and particularly the last one, may seem relatively innocuous, particularly when coupled with the argument that most (but not all) rights in Israel are derived from citizenship and not nationality. I called it "a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis".

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