Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Israel imposes 'racist' marriage law

Expand Messages
  • ummyakoub
    Israel imposes racist marriage law Palestinian-Israeli couples will be forced to leave or live apart By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem The Independent 1 August
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2003
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Israel imposes 'racist' marriage law

      Palestinian-Israeli couples will be forced to leave or live apart

      By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem

      The Independent
      1 August 2003

      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=
      429490

      Israel's Parliament has passed a law preventing Palestinians who
      marry Israelis from living in Israel. The move was denounced by
      human rights organisations as racist, undemocratic and
      discriminatory.

      Under the new law, rushed through yesterday, Palestinians alone will
      be excluded from obtaining citizenship or residency. Anyone else who
      marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship.

      Now Israeli Arabs who marry Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza
      Strip will either have to move to the occupied territories, or live
      apart from their husband or wife. Their children will be affected
      too: from the age of 12 they will be denied citizenship or residency
      and forced to move out of Israel.

      Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch sent a joint letter to
      the Knesset, Israel's parliament, urging members to reject the bill.
      "The draft law barring family reunification for Palestinian spouses
      of Israeli citizens is profoundly discriminatory," Amnesty said in a
      statement. "A law permitting such blatant racial discrimination, on
      grounds of ethnicity or nationality, would clearly violate
      international human rights law and treaties which Israel has
      ratified and pledged to uphold."

      B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, joined in the
      criticism of the law. Yael Stein, a spokesman, said: "This is a
      racist law that decides who can live here according to racist
      criteria."

      Some Israelis believe they are sitting on a demographic time bomb,
      with an Israeli Arab community, already 20 per cent of the
      population, growing faster than the Jewish population.

      The discrimination is not only against Palestinians, according to
      human rights groups, but against Israel's own 1.2 million citizens
      of Palestinian origin as well. The overwhelming majority of Israelis
      who marry Palestinians are the so-called Israeli Arabs -
      Palestinians who live in Israel and have Israeli citizenship.

      "This bill blatantly discriminates against Israelis of Palestinian
      origin and their Palestinian spouses," said Hanny Megally of Human
      Rights Watch. "It's scandalous that the Government has presented
      this bill, and it's shocking that the Knesset is rushing it
      through."

      The government pushed the vote through at speed, even agreeing to
      consider it a vote of confidence to get it through. It was passed by
      53 votes to 25, with one abstention.

      Gideon Ezra, a cabinet minister, said: "This law comes to address a
      security issue. Since September 2000 we have seen a significant
      connection, in terror attacks, between Arabs from the West Bank and
      Gaza and Israeli Arabs."

      Since 1993, more than 100,000 Palestinians have become Israeli
      citizens through marriage, Mr Ezra said. But B'Tselem pointed out
      that only 20 of those 100,000 have been involved in suicide bombings
      or other militant attacks. Human rights groups said security
      concerns could not justify the new law, which amounts to collective
      punishment. Noam Hoffstater, another spokesman for B'Tselem, said:
      "Those who voted for the bill and those who support it are making a
      very cynical use of security arguments to justify it, even though
      they used no data. This in fact was a cover for the real reason,
      which is the racist reason, the demographic reason."

      Many on Israel's right fear that it will be impossible to maintain
      Israel's identity as an officially Jewish state if the Arab sector
      becomes too large.

      "Today I lost hope," Sa'id abu Muammar, an Israeli Arab, told
      Reuters news agency. He has been hiding his Palestinian wife from
      the police since their marriage a year ago. "This is what we've been
      doing and this is probably what we will have to continue to do."

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---------------------------
      PROPOSED MARRIAGE LAW CALLED RACIST MOVES FORWARD IN ISRAEL
      JAMES BENNET, New York Times, 7/31/03
      http://nytimes.com/2003/07/31/international/middleeast/31CND-
      MIDE.html

      JERUSALEM, July 31 - The Israeli parliament voted today to block
      Palestinians who marry Israelis from becoming Israeli citizens or
      residents, erecting a new legal barrier as Israel finished the first
      section of a new physical barrier against West Bank Palestinians.

      Supporters of the legislation called it a necessary bulwark against
      infiltration by terrorists. "We are in a state of war - not with the
      English, or the Americans, or the Dutch, or the Slovaks - we are at
      war with our neighbors, the Palestinians," Gideon Sa'ar, of the
      dominant Likud Party, told the parliament in debate before the
      vote. "It's a tragic reality."

      Proponents also called the law a way to preserve Israel's Jewish
      majority.

      Opponents of the law called it a racist measure that threatened to
      divide thousands of families or force them out of Israel. Roughly 1.2
      million of Israel's 6.7 million citizens are Arabs, and they are far
      more likely than Israeli Jews to marry Palestinians.

      *********************************************************************

      NEWS AND VIEWS DISTRIBUTED HERE ARE THE AUTHOR'S RESPONSIBILITY
      AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE OPINION OF WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
      vwns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vwns/
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.