Arab MK: We will work to repeal the Nationality Law

Ra'am head MK Mansour Abbas clarifies he views the Nationality Law as racist and will work to repeal it.

Dalit Halevi ,

MK Mansour Abbas
MK Mansour Abbas
Adina Wallman, Knesset Spokesperson

MK Mansour Abbas, who heads the Ra’am party which makes up the predominantly Arab Joint List faction, claimed on Thursday that his remarks in an interview on Radio 103FM regarding the Nationality Law were taken out of context.

Abbas said in a statement that in response to the interviewer's question, he replied cynically (originally in Arabic), "There is no doubt that the Nationality Law discriminates against us on the basis of nationality, but it does not deprive us of citizenship."

Abbas noted that the interviewer then interrupted him and changed the subject of the conversation, and left the impression that Abbas was interested in exploiting the citizenship allowed by the Nationality Law for the interests of Arab society.

In this context, Abbas wrote (originally in Arabic), "Can a reasonable person understand that I accept the racist Nationality Law and that I am satisfied with it? Our position against the Nationality Law is clear. We have acted and will always continue to repeal it."

The Nationality Law states that Israel is the Jewish people's nation state and establishes as law Israel's flag, symbols, the Hebrew language, and various other items mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.

The law does not affect the rights of minority citizens in Israel, but has been criticized by Arab countries, as well as by Israeli Arabs, who claim that it is discriminatory.

In 2018, a delegation of Arab MKs held a series of meetings at the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of their efforts against the national law. The delegation met with United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, as well as with several other UN officials.