Arab mayor petitions High Court of Justice

The petition from Mayor Morsi Abu Mukh is the latest in a series of legal actions that Arab and Druze citizens are taking to challenge the controversial law.

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August 2, 2018 02:23
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets leaders of the Druze community

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets leaders of the Druze community: Likud MK Ayoob Kara, Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, the current spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, to discuss the controversial Nation-State Law, Brig.-Gen. Amal Asad (ret.) and former Labor MK Shakib Shanan . (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

 
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The mayor of the predominantly Arab city of Baka al-Gharbiya in the Haifa District filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on Wednesday against the government and Knesset over the Jewish Nation-State Law.

The petition from Mayor Morsi Abu Mukh is the latest in a series of legal actions that Arab and Druze citizens are taking to challenge the controversial law.

Last week, MK Akram Hasson and other top Druze officials also filed a petition asking the court to strike down all or part of the law. The petition called the law “a terrible blow to the Druze sector, a terrible blow to democracy and terrible blow to Zionism.”

On Wednesday night, Hassan and his colleagues said they will withdraw their petition after reaching an agreement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that complies with the demands of the Druze community.

In his petition, Abu Mukh asked the court to issue an injunction instructing the government and Knesset to explain why the new law, or at least some of its provisions, should not be annulled. The mayor was joined in his petition by local political activist Maher Abu Toameh.

“The law constitutes a severe blow to democracy... [and] disproportionate and unreasonable harm to the Arab citizens of the State,” the petition argued.

The petitioners expressed fear that the law would harm human rights of the citizens of Israel, especially the Arab minority. “In the law, there is no reference to the fact that the State of Israel is a democratic state, and there is no commitment to equal rights for all residents of the state,” it added.

The petition claims that according to the law, “Anyone who is not part of the Jewish people is an ordinary resident and does not receive full rights like all other citizens.”

The law, according to the petition, “abolishes Arabic as an official language, a step that jeopardizes the status of the culture and language of Arabs.

The law allows racial discrimination within the borders of the State of Israel, and it will also allow racial segregation on the basis of nationality and religion.

“The law is an extreme exclusion of the Arab minority in Israel and severely violates democracy and human rights,” the petition continues. “This harm will prevent equal rights for Arabs in the country and will lead to racial discrimination in all spheres of life. Moreover, the law ignores the collective and individual rights of non-Jewish citizens, including the Arab minority. The law says in simple language that anyone who is not Jewish is inferior.”

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