Thousands Protest Israeli Bill at Arab-Led Rally in Tel Aviv
On July 19, the Israeli parliament passed new legislation declaring Israel to be a “nation-state.” The law also declares Hebrew as the only official language.
Thousands of Israeli Arabs and Jews have gathered in the center of Tel Aviv to protest against the ‘nation-state’ law. Demonstrators shouted “Equality” in Arabic and Hebrew and “Apartheid will not pass.” The protesters arae concerned about possible discrimination on the basis of nationality.
According to the deputy of Arab origin, the demonstration is “an introduction to further protests against the law.” Earlier, a number of retired high-ranking politicians and representatives of the security forces voiced their sharp criticism of the law. Five lawsuits against the new law are under consideration in the courts of the country.
The law, which was passed by Knesset in July, stipulates that only Jews living in the country have a right to self-determination while Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population, have been deprived of that right.
The law also declares Hebrew the only official language, with Arabic losing the statues and becoming a language with a “special status.”