65 Israeli Laws that target and discriminate against non-Jews in Israel
Israel has 65 laws that directly discriminate against Christians and Muslims or that are used to justify discrimination in every level of life against non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Some of the laws were founded during the British Mandate and were denounced by Jews in Palestine, who later had no hesitation to reapply those same laws against non-Jews in their war to takeover Palestine between 1922-1948.
By Ray Hanania
Immediately after taking power in 1933, Germany’s National Socialist began a program called “Aryanization” to strip Jews of their rights. The intent was to make Germany an “Aryan State,” using “laws” to force Jews to leave. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, beginning World War II, the process changed. Jews, and other non-Aryans, were sent to concentration camps where they were killed. Germany’s National Socialists adopted more than 400 laws that targeted Jews at every level including non-citizen Jews living under German occupation.
The Israelis have learned a lot from their experiences dealing with oppression. They have developed similar laws, 65 of them, that give Jews inside Israel and under their control in the occupation total rights, while restricting the rights of non-Jews and making it easy to legally punish non-Jews. Israel’s goal, though, is to be able to identify who is a Jew, and to provide benefits to Jews that are denied to non-Jews.
Denying rights to non-Jews would, I suspect, be used to discourage non-Jews from wanting to remain in Israel. Maybe, non-Jews might be encouraged by racism to leave the country?
The mainstream Western media rarely explores these laws, but they are documented by an Israeli organization dedicated to civil and human rights, Adalah (“Justice” in English). Founded in 1996 by two Israeli Arab organizations, The Galilee Society and the Arab Association for Human Rights, Adalah identifies Israeli 65 laws they argue intended to discriminate and restrict the rights of non-Jews.
Each year, this list of laws continues to grow as Israel seeks to “Judyanize” its control over all of the land of historic Palestine. More than half of the 65 laws were adopted by Israel since 2000, as Israel feared the ramifications of the peace process on their ability to control lands and populations.
Several of the 65 laws were laws that Jews denounced as racist during the British Mandate because they were used to deny certain rights to Jews. Since then, though, Israel has codified many of those former British Mandate Laws.
The “Trade with the Enemy” law (1948) sounds justifiable, but in reality is a legal façade to expose any non-Jew in Israel to charges of sedition.
The law prohibits Palestinian Arabs from participating in any kind of event, political, social and cultural that is organized in many Arab countries. It also is used to ban books in Arabic that challenge Israel’s racist propaganda.
The “Absentee Property Rights Law” (1949) allows Israel to define Arab refugees who were “expelled after 29 November 1947” as “absentees” and therefore no longer have rights. Israel has used the law to confiscate Arab-owned lands, property, bank accounts and all possessions and give them only to Jews.
The “Law of Return” (1949) gives Jews the right to automatically become Israeli citizens. They are given financial support and benefits including lands, property and possessions taken from the “absentees.” The law denies citizenship to non-Jews.
Another is the “State Education Law” (1953) which mandated a “Jewish only” education to children in Israel’s schools. In 2000, during the failed peace process, language was added acknowledging the “culture, heritage and history” of non-Jews, but most Israeli schools do little more than acknowledge offering no context, no facts and most importantly no accuracy about Israel’s history.
This law is used as the basis for the Israel assertion that Arabs “teach their children hatred” in their schools. For example, any Arab school that teaches its children about how Israel discriminates against non-Jews is considered “teaching hatred.”
The law is also being used to remove Arabic from many Israeli communities and settlements, using Hebrew only.
The “Basic Law: Israel Lands” (1960) places all lands under Israel’s control, through the Jewish National Fund. The JNF prohibits land from being transferred to or purchased by non-Jews, but it does allow lands to be leased, sold and transferred to Jews. In other words, even if you are an Israeli citizen, if you are not Jewish, you are denied this right.
You can go through these sinister Israel laws designed to deny basic human rights to Christians and Muslims in Israel by visiting Adalah’s website at Adalah.org.
There you will see other laws that deny basic rights to non-Jews restricting burial, limiting the use of the Arabic language, denying public government funding, waiving criminal proceedings to Jews who commit crimes against non-Jews, and imposing laws against political activism against Israel. If you use the term “Nakba” to describe Israel’s founding (Nakba Law, 2011), you can be prosecuted and denied government support and services. Many of the laws are written to allow wide latitude in interpretation by Israel’s court system, so that even waiving a Palestinian flag can be considered a traitorous act.
Other laws required that every Israeli carry an ID card. The cards identified the bearer’s race or ethnicity as Jewish, Arab, Druze and Circassian. In 2005, the racial identity was removed from the card – though the space is still there marked by asterisks – but there are other ways to distinguish who is Jewish and who is non-Jewish on the card, including the use of the Hebrew Calendar for the birthdate of Jews, and Gregorian Calendar for the birthdates of non-Jews.
If you are arrested by the State, the state allows police to interrogate “security detainees” without recording the interrogations or documenting the arrests. The intent is to prevent the information from being used by human rights organizations and block charges of torture, dismissing lawsuits accusing Israeli officials of using torture against Israeli citizens who are non-Jews.
There is no “acceptable” law that separates two people based on race and religion or gives one more rights while denying the other the same rights. And yet that is exactly what Israel is doing.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist and author. He is a former Chicago political news reporter and he covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 before becoming a syndicated columnist and Middle East analyst. Hanania’s personal website is TheDailyHookah.com. Email him at email@example.com.)
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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