Discriminatory Laws

Israel's government continues to pass and propose new laws which discriminate against the Palestinian Arab minority. This report is updated regularly to contain a collection of some of the principle legislation which marginalizes Arab citizens, and in some cases also harms Palestinians residing in the OPT and Palestinian refugees living abroad.

Israeli governments regularly enact legislation which excludes, ignores, and discriminates against the Palestinian Arab minority. Since the establishment of the state, Israel has relied upon these laws to ground their discriminatory treatment of Arab citizens and allow the unequal status and unequal treatment of Jewish and Arab citizens to persist.

In February 2009, elections for  the 18th Knesset brought to power the most right‐wing government coalition in the history of Israel. The current 19th Knesset, elected in January 2013, has continued this right-wing trend. Both governments were led by Benjamin Netanyahu, of the Likud party, with strong support from Avigdor Lieberman, of the Yisrael Beitenu party. The 2013 elections also introduced the far-right wing party HaBayit HaYehudi, led by Naftali Bennet, into the governing coalition. Members of Knesset (MKs) immediately introduced a flood of discriminatory legislation.

These new laws and bills, which continue to surface on a near weekly basis, seek, inter alia, to dispossess and exclude Arab citizens from the land; turn their citizenship from a right into a conditional privilege; undermine the ability of Arab citizens of Israel and their parliamentary representatives to participate in the political life of the country; criminalize political expression or acts that question the Jewish or Zionist nature of the state; and privilege Jewish citizens in the allocation of state resources. It is particularly disturbing that some of the legislation appears to be specifically designed to preempt, circumvent or overturn Supreme Court decisions providing protection for these rights. Adalah closely monitors new legislation and regularly updates the following lists.

Click here for the most recent collection of  Discriminatory Laws  (Updated June 2013)

This paper lists 29 main new laws and bills that discriminate against the Palestinian minority in Israel and threaten their rights as citizens of the state, and in some cases harm the rights of Palestinian residents of the OPT. It also documents a series of bills that have been introduced to drastically restrict the foreign governmental funding and activities of human rights organizations; Arab human rights organizations in Israel would be particularly affected by this legislation.

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See Adalah's Discriminatory Laws Database

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