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Report: Current Knesset- The most racist in Israeli history

Report: the current Knesset is the “most racial Knesset ever”

The data provided by the Coalition against Racism and the Mossawa Center show that members of the Knesset who hold radical opinions apply their points of view with almost no hindrance.

The current Knesset is the “most racial” Knesset since the establishment of the State of Israel, claims the report of the Coalition against Racism and the Mossawa Center that will be published today (Sunday).

The report, published in honor of the International Day for the Eliminationof Racial Discrimination, claims that the number of bills that discriminate against Arab citizens has reached a high point from the date of the establishment of the Knesset. “There was never such an active Knesset in issuing discriminating and racist proposals against the Arab citizens of the state,” said the authors of the report, Lizi Sagi and Adv. Nidal Otoman. The report, sections of which reached Ha’aretz, claims that this year saw a 75% rise in submitting “discriminating and racist” bills, most of which seek to weaken the status of Arab citizens and restrict their rights, while incessantly threatening the legitimization of their citizenship.

It continues to claim that the Knesset members who hold radical opinions apply their perception with almost no hindrance. Bills that “circumvent the High Court of Justice” are passed in order to obtain the consent of the coalition, and non-constitutional bills are cosmetically modified and then passed.

In addition, the report claims that members of the coalition do not hide their objectives and openly call for banishing the Arab citizens of the state, impairing their rights, and maintaining a regime that separates between them and the Jewish population. The background of these bills that discriminate against the Arab public by giving benefits and priorities to citizens who served in the army or completed national service is also obvious. Worthy of mention among the bills mentioned in the report is the proposal of a year of imprisonment for those who publish “statements that contain ridicule of and disloyalty to the state.” The law was approved at a preliminary reading. Another memorable bill was proposed by Minister of Transportation, Yisrael Katz - to change all the road signs to “Hebrew names.” In addition, the report mentioned the Law of Acceptance Committees that presently enables these committees in community settlements to decide on who will purchase land in their area. The report also mentions the Nakba bill which was passed last week on first reading.

The bill of the Minister of Interior, Eli YIshai is also appended to the report. The bill relates to economic plans for 2009 and 2010 in the framework of the economic arrangement bill. One of the sections states that a parent of children who has several wives will not receive benefits according to the overall calculation of the number of children, but according to calculations for each wife separately. The authors of the report claim that the bill is mainly directed against the Bedouin population.

By Jack Houri, published in Ha’aretz, March 21, 2010

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