Bedouin appeal to Supreme Court against Nationality Law

Bedouin join Druze minority in protesting National Law, tell Supreme Court law is discriminatory.

Tzvi Lev ,

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Israel's Bedouin community appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice in an effort to scuttle the Nationality Law.

In the appeal, Lt. Colonel (res.) Hassan Heib and Ya'qub Abu al-Giaa demanded that the law be annulled or changed so that it applies equally to all citizens of the State of Israel. Attorney Muhammad Rahal, who represents the two, said that the legislation destroyed relations between Israel and its minority communities and alleged that the Supreme Court was mandated to strike it down despite being a semi-constitutional Basic Law.

"We believe this rule is unconstitutional and should be rescinded forthwith because it is in complete contradiction with the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty and the Declaration of Independence. The unique thing about our petition this attitude to the property rights [of Arabs] which are hurt by encouraging Jewish settlement at the expense of other citizens of Israel," wrote Rahal.

The Nationality Law codifies Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people into Israel’s Basic Laws and establishes Hebrew as its sole official language while giving Arabic special standing. The law has aroused opposition among Israel's Druze community and the Left, who contends that it discriminates against minorities.

On Saturday night, over 50,000 Israelis filled Tel Aviv in a solidarity rally with the Druze community in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv in protest against the Nationality Law. Despite the large numbers, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Sunday that the law would not be changed and reiterated that the legislation does not hurt minorities.