Supreme Court gives Israel until 12 May to respond to Adalah's request for order nisi in Jewish Nation-State Law petition

Israeli authorities are ignoring Arab leadership's position that international law prohibits Jewish Nation-State Law; new Human Rights Watch report indicates Israel in violation of Rome Statute.

The Israeli Supreme Court on 28 April 2021 ordered the Knesset and Israeli state authorities to respond by 12 May 2021 to a request for an order nisi in the petition filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel in August 2018 against the Jewish Nation-State Law. The petition was submitted on behalf of the Arab political leadership in Israel – the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the National Committee of Arab Mayors, the Joint List parliamentary faction, and in the name of Adalah.


Order nisi is the term given to an order requesting that an action be taken within a certain period of time


The request was submitted about four months after a hearing was held on a series of 15 petitions against the Jewish Nation-State Law, during which the state completely ignored arguments based in international law.


In Adalah's petition, attorneys Hassan Jabareen, Suhad Bishara, Myssana Morany, Fady Khoury, and Sawsan Zaher argued that Israel's Jewish Nation-State Law falls within the scope of absolute prohibitions detailed by international law: it is a colonial law containing characteristics of apartheid.


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In addition, the Knesset and Israeli state authorities also failed to relate to documents submitted by Adalah in a December 2020 update, in which statements were provided by United Nations bodies supporting the arguments advanced in the petition.



Adalah's latest request to the Israeli Supreme Court also references the new report by Human Rights Watch, which states that Israel's Jewish Nation-State Law violates the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Adalah further added that recent developments in the applicability of international law resulting from the ICC's preliminary ruling in February 2021, according to which it has jurisdiction to consider Israeli violations of the Rome Statute in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and East Jerusalem, necessitates an order nisi to clarify this issue.


Adalah noted that the Knesset and Israeli state authorities had failed to provide satisfactory answers regarding other issues highlighted in the petition, including: the current status of the Arabic language; and the practical implications of the law's Article 7, which details that "the state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and will act to encourage it and to promote and to consolidate its establishment."