Adalah to UN: Condemn Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law

Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany: "This law bears the distinct characteristics of apartheid as defined under international law."

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel called on the United Nations Human Rights Council today, 13 March 2019, to condemn Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law.


Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany, speaking in Geneva during an Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, appealed to the UN body to demand that Israel repeal the law due to its racially discriminatory impact on Palestinian citizens of Israel.


“There is no democratic state in the world that defines its constitutional identity on exclusive racial grounds, and as serving one ethnic group,” Attorney Morany told the council.


CLICK HERE to read the full text of Attorney Morany’s speech or watch here:


On 19 July 2018, the Israeli Knesset approved the Jewish Nation-State Law by a vote of 62-55. The new Basic Law enshrines Jewish supremacy in the state and upholds racial discrimination as a constitutional value, making it even more difficult for Palestinian citizens to challenge their inequality through the law.


Following an appeal by Adalah, four UN Special Rapporteurs, including on minority issues, sent a joint communique to Israeli authorities in November 2018 demanding clarification of potential human rights violations resulting from the law.


“The Nation-State Law contains no commitment to democratic norms or equality, and no prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, or ethnicity,” Attorney Morany told the council today. “For these reasons, this law bears the distinct characteristics of apartheid as defined under international law.”


Speaking after the UN session, Attorney Morany commented further:


"Just last week, opposition to the Nation-State Law was exploited as a justification for disqualifying an Arab political list from the upcoming Israeli national elections – so this is clearly not a theoretical or symbolic issue. This racist law has direct and immediate implications for the human rights of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. The Israeli prime minster even commented this week that Israel is not a country for all its citizens, specifically citing the Nation-State Law to support his claim. This rightly made headlines around the world precisely because what is taken for granted in every democracy – equality for all citizens – is considered a subversive and hostile idea in Israel.”



(Screengrab: UN Web TV)