Israel’s Nation-State Law Explained | NowThis World

Israel’s Nation-State Law Explained | NowThis World

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Israel’s parliament passed a bill
that officially declared the country a Jewish state. The July 2018 legislation defines
things like Israel’s national holidays, symbols, and the state’s
connection to Jewish heritage. Supporters of the bill say at worst,
it’s a symbolic nod toward Jewish unity that won’t actually impact
the lives of citizens day-to-day, and, at best, a
‘defining moment’ for Zionism. Critics, including many international Jewish groups,
say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing majority coalition are bolstering
‘tribalism’ or, even more severely, ‘apartheid.’ Even celebrities are speaking up about it. [Portman]:
It’s racist, and there’s
nothing else to say about that. [Host]:
But what does this mean for the near
quarter of Israel’s population that isn’t Jewish? Well, the controversial ‘Nation-State’ bill
declared Jewish settlement a ‘national value’ and made the right to national self-determination
in Israel ‘unique to the Jewish people.’ Key contentious clauses were removed
late in the game, including one that would ‘authorize a community composed of people having the
same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.’ Basically, legal segregation based on religion or ethnicity. We sat down with Aida Touma-Sliman, an Arab
Israeli member of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, for her take. [Touma-Sliman]:
We had to understand from the beginning that this law
is ignoring 20% of the citizens of Israel, which are us, the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
We are not mentioned in any way in the law. [Host]:
She’s been outspoken in her opposition to
the Nation-State law, which passed 62 to 55 votes. The feminist activist is one of fewer than 20 Arab members
and 35 women of the 120 lawmakers in the Israeli Knesset. Despite the ones that were removed, plenty
of controversial sections also stayed put. For example, the bill revokes the 70-year status
Arabic had as an ‘official’ state language, downgrading it to a ‘special status’ and
making Hebrew the state’s only official language. Even though the law didn’t specify any immediate action around this,
Touma-Sliman says there are greater symbolic and cultural implications. [Touma-Sliman]:
Arabic language is part of the public
scene in Israel, it’s part of the homeland. And it is the spoken language of the indigenous
people who used to exist forever in the homeland there. So denying that is part of denying
the narrative and the story and the history. The law also states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That’s really nothing new from Israeli officials,
who have claimed the city as its ‘undivided’ capital since 1967, after occupying the Eastern part of the
city during the Six-Day War. But the land is disputed. Palestine also claims Jerusalem as its capital,
with Palestinians living in the Eastern part of the city comprising roughly 38% of its population. Basically, this clause reinforces a foreign policy trend in 2018
that’s seen increasing international support of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, like President Trump moving the U.S. embassy there, and several
other countries reportedly considering following suit. Still, most of the world has not recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,
and critics say the clause is a slap in the face to the huge population of
Palestinians living and worshipping there. Another disputed section of the law? The one that defines Jewish settlement as a ‘national value.’ The process of settlement, commonly understood as Israeli communities
set up in Palestinian territories, has been repeatedly defined as illegal under international law,
although Israel disputes this. They’ve been rapidly expanding for years,
and threaten the possibility of a two state solution. According to Peace Now,
an Israeli NGO that tracks settlement activity, there are upwards of 413,000 Israeli
settlers living in the occupied West Bank. Construction of new settlements reportedly
more than doubled over the second quarter of 2018. A lawyer who has represented the government
regarding the illegal outposts has reportedly already said that he plans to use the new law as justification
to legalize unauthorized Israeli outposts in Palestinian territory, which are currently illegal
even under Israeli law. It’s important to mention that
this bill has been in the works for years, in varying forms and levels of harshness. It’s now one of 14
Basic Laws which Israel has enacted over time in place of a constitution. In 2011, Avi Dichter, now a member
of Netanyahu’s Likud party, introduced a version of the legislation,
and it was bounced around the Knesset for almost 7 years. After the law passed, even the Trump
administration reportedly expressed concerns over what it meant for the
treatment of minority populations. But it wasn’t just the international
community that responded negatively. Some Knesset members protested by
physically tearing up copies of the bill. In the months that followed, tens of
thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest, including Jewish Israelis and many Israelis
who are ethnically Arab, like the minority Druze community. [Moraja]:
We are here to send a clear message to the Israeli government:
we will not settle down for nothing less than equal rights as Israeli citizens. [Touma-Sliman]:
I’ve been active for more than 35 years,
and I’ve never seen a situation where, especially in the last few years, that Jews and Arabs come
together to protest and oppose something in a passionate way. [Host]:
Touma-Sliman and other MKs have promised to fight
the law at a parliamentary level, as well as continue appeal to international
bodies like the EU and UN for oversight. [Touma-Sliman]:
We are asking the United Nations also
to recognize us as a minority in danger, and to recognize that if they do not move quickly in order to establish
the two-state solution, we will end up with a one-state solution. [Host]:
And all of this is happening at a
very precarious time for the Prime Minister, who hasn’t backed down on
the law despite the protests. Netanyahu is facing indictment on charges including bribery and fraud, following three corruption investigations. He has made every attempt over the past year to hold
on to his right-wing governing coalition’s shaky majority, but it’s unclear whether he’ll hold onto it,
or his agenda, in the upcoming elections. Israel has consistently touted
itself, ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’ Now it looks like one of many with an increasingly authoritarian leader,
threatening the legal status of its minority citizens. There’s been a lot of debate over the symbolism
versus real world consequences of this law. So, what do you think? What kind of a concrete impact
could it have on the population of Israel that’s not Jewish? Let me know below. And thanks,
as always, for tuning in to NowThis World.

100 thoughts on “Israel’s Nation-State Law Explained | NowThis World

  • calvin0630 Post author

    Free Palestine

  • עמית כהן Post author

    long live Israel ! ❤

  • Bar achello Post author

    one sided video with lots of incorrect information

  • American Storm Post author

    let's make a white america and kick jews out

  • GPB Post author

    I guess it's ok for the rest of the countries in the world to self-define themselves based on their cultures and symbols, even though every country has minorities of other cultures in them, but OY VEY if it comes to this tiny little Jewish country!!! God forbid, of course the Jews are not allowed to determine their own country the way they want it to be, because it hurts the feelings of their minorities… So much hate and hypocrisy when it comes to Israel, it's just sickening! The minorities in Israel enjoy full equal rights and are protected by law! This has never changed and never will change! Nothing racist about it and Natalie Portman should be ashamed of herself speaking about her country like that.

  • Ben Schechter Post author

    Are you serial?

  • Michael Samo Post author

    lol German is Germany's language, so Hebrew is Israeli language? what is the problem?

  • Vikram Sundarraman Post author

    Israel passes a law targeting minorities. That is not good at all. However, many Jews and Arabs protest against it in the legislature and streets. This is also taken up to the United Nations. I agree that is the right thing to do. Arab nations routinely target non-Muslims by laws making Burka compulsory or in Saudi not allowing women to drive, etc. No one in those countries are able to protest. UN never intervenes in those issue. Why?

  • phoenixkhost Post author

    Palestine is not a state, the Palestinians do not deserve their own state.

  • KamuelaKid Post author

    Fight for what you believe in, but heads up, you might lose…

  • Geoff Short Post author

    The law does not affect the status of Arabic which has never been an official language in Israel. It was only ever an official language (along with English) under the British mandate.
    In addition, please note that many very prominent international lawyers claim that West Bank settlements are perfectly legal. They include the late Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, honorary professor of international law at the University of Cambridge; Professor Eugene Rostow, former dean of the Yale law school and Professor Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International court of Justice

  • Dark Angel Post author

    Dear israel let me the first to tell you we don’t hate you but some extremists think they got it right

  • Emcee Squared Post author

    A necessary law given that the vast majority of Israel's muslim-arab citizens identify as Palestinians and seek to destroy Israel from within, changing it into Palestine. That is also the goal of the BDS movement. After the Jews finally got a state after thousands of years, they aren't giving it up.

  • Guillermo Vasquez Post author

    Ethno centrist racists that’s what they are.

  • Niv Lugassi Post author

    LOL at that Arab MK who can't even pronounce Israel – arabs and muslims who don't descend from local Jews and Samaritans haven't "always" existed in Israel, they're not natives but in fact foreign conquerors and invaders. Go back to ur homelands.

  • Bad English sry Post author

    Oy vey not racist at all. Only democracy and defender of the western values in middle east. We need to support them more Kappa.

  • eladale2000 Post author

    This video is a tutorial on how to bury honest journalism 6 feet under the ground. Very useful these days.

  • Mendel J Post author

    2:46 I'm sorry? Arabic is the indigenous language of the land and has been forever? How is this woman a politician?
    6:14 Never seen Arabs and Israelis protest together? Happens regular on the left

  • Sergio Gonzales Post author

    Ethnostate for me, goy. Diversity and multuculturalism for you.

  • akim ishchayil Post author

    The Ashkenazim are the real problem.

  • APE X Post author

    Israel started in 1948
    Soldiers + Tanks invaded Palestine

    Military is used for Invasion of Land
    Military is the Evidence it was an Invasion

  • Covfefe Post author

    In that case countries that proclaim themselves as Islamic republic or Islam as the nation am religion is racist to Christians and other religion or am I seeing a double standard

  • Jelly Jam Post author

    ” it's racist” 😂😂😂 their both Arabs, please use a celebrity that actually knows what the issue is besides what their manager tells them too say.

  • rajgoyal Post author

    Celebrities everywhere think themselves as intellectuals whereas they are ignorant idiots.

  • idanx1 Post author

    So many wrong things with this article. Not to mention the lying former Knesset member….

  • smexy bear Post author

    Im pro Israel. any one who wants to have a discussion and see himself losing the discussion is more than welcome to try to change my mind. Israel is right with no doubt.

  • cameron blanton Post author

    Nobody wants ugly dumb Muslims in their country , I don’t blame them.

  • empraju empraju Post author

    Shallom. I need your assistance. Are you help for me. Thanks

  • bart versteege Post author

    germany is the nation state of the germans…is that racist ? does that mean no other nationality's can live there ? does that mean that germans are better than others ?
    only for the jews it is all different….is it ? has this to do with an hidden agenda ? i think it tells more about "them" then the jews.

  • laserwolf65 Post author

    Palestine has had plenty of chances for peace. If they won't accept a peace deal, this is what they get.

  • Simon Sozzi Post author

    Decent overall analysis but you could have included some interviews with Israeli Jews in support and against.

  • Tyler Mogs Post author


  • Sultan Ahmed of Türkiye Post author

    This is what Palestinians have to deal with, and that’s why I pray for them everyday. May God give them their land and Jerusalem back inshallah 🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸

  • Audie Post author

    Zionists have to be the most wretched human beings in the history of man. HYPOCRISY and vile fashism justified by the blood of their ancestors and relatives. DESPICABLE

  • Aaron Afrahim Post author


  • Cameron Miller Post author

    So Jewish people can't have their own country without being called extremists but Muslims can have a whole continent? Sounds fair

  • Adrian Blake Post author

    Sorry, but 3:55 is a very manipulated lie.
    While the wording may be correct, what you are inferring from it is false. I'll explain:
    The ENGLISH term for 'settlement' conflates several meaning under one, for which HEBREW has multiple words. The term used to define the settlements in the West Bank s הִתְנַחֲלוּת (hitnachlut) meaning: claming land taken by conquest; while the term used within the law is הִתְיַשְּׁבוּת (hityashvut) meaning utilizing land for residence, and can easily refer for settling the Negev and Galillee

  • Insert Name Here Post author

    so basically, netanyahu’s a fascist

  • Rocketman822 Post author

    Did you really just compare Israel to South Africa? You’re nuts and the deep state (dems) hates Jews

  • shai Post author

    To all the ignorant here. Most countries in the world define themselves as nation states!
    All citizens in Israel have full equality of rights!

  • San G. Post author

    You should have talked about the Druze people's stance more. They are the ones that was affected the most by this law.

  • yessir 889 Post author

    druze communities are not included as arab's they helped the Jewish people and decided to help them since they were very week in 1947! and now israel says druze are includes this racist rule

  • ערן אטיאס Post author

    1:40 the Palestinians are not citizens of Israel in any way

  • Teodor The Entertainer Post author

    I think Israel is awesome country. Thumbs up if you agree

  • zhuoli xie Post author

    Served with the illegitimate “annexation” of the Gaza Strip, well, Israel is no different from any other Middle Eastern radical groups.

  • Matthew Shatford Post author

    Oh good, celebrities are speaking up. They know everything.

  • Wilhem Abu Kaiser Post author

    They made a mistake at 3:27. 38 percent of west Jerusalem population is Palestinian but 68 percent of east Jerusalem population is Palestinian

  • Rio Aiello Post author

    OK we’re allowed to have Muslim nations were allowed to have atheist nations were allowed to have Buddhist nations. But Christian nations have to be multicultural and god for bed we have a Jewish one.

  • Daniel 505 Post author

    All videos about this topic has the most civil comment section. Ever.

  • Franck Hough Post author

    There is NO SUCH THING as so-called "Palestinian settlements" or "Palestinian sections" or "Palestinian areas". There is NO SUCH THING as Palestine or a Palestinian. Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Franck Hough Post author

    The so-called "Palestinians" are ARABS or JORDANIANS. The so-called "Palestinian" never existed and there never was a sovereign state called Palestine AT ALL, ever.

  • Franck Hough Post author

    Benjamin Netanhahu is NOT corrupt. He is a true leader of the independent, sovereign STATE of Israel. Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gal ashery Post author

    This is full of mistranslation. The biggest one being that settling Israel meant building in the West Bank. It’s not the status of that issue is unchanged. This was to solve a domestic problem In Israel’s Northern District where in the Galilee and valley prefectures an increasing number of young Israelis were moving to Tel Aviv area. That part of the law was to advocate settling in the north and to make it more attractive to young couples. As of now there is a negative growth in the Galilee but if you take a look at the demographics only Jewish are leaving while other minorities are growing. Currently the Arab population in the Galilee is 55% and it’s predicted to rise. Kneset members from both sides of the political map, but mainly right wing, fear that if a region of Israel would have a non-Jewish majority it might try to secede especially if there where to be an agreement that establishes a Palestinian state. This is the reason for the section stating that the right for declaration is unique to the Jewish people. Not some random racist thing. Also after every part that “changed” the status of an existing issue there was a subsection that said “this is a symbolic change, in practice previous status remains in affect. This was as in example after the section that made the Hebrew calendar Israel official calendar but not in practice and also placed after the change to the status of the Arabic language. NO REAL CHANGES WILL BE MADE, ALL PREVIOUS PRIVILEGES ARE KEPT! There problems to this bill but most of what is mentioned in this video just isn’t true.

  • omer klein Post author

    As an israeli i dont think this video was a good analysis of the law it showed only one side of the law and was really one sided. You cant Doubt israel as a democracy because israel is in fact one of the vibrating Democracies in the world and the only democracy in the middle east, in adittion Netanyahu government was the government who gave the most funds in the history of israel to arab cities so you cant say that they are racist if they are devolping the arabs cities even more then a lot of jewish cities or combined cities.

  • [Rara Avis] Post author

    Israel – Satanists who believe in Talmud (Babillonian Occult Book).

    Morderers of palestinian Christians. REAL TERRORISTS! Morderers of God`s Son (shame for Sanhedrin)! Talmudic Judaism=Satanism! Netanjahu serve to DEMONS!

    Oly those who will believe in Christ will survive. Rest will die in Harmageddon

  • שי קמחי Post author

    You did not interview even one supporter of the law.
    Jurnalism it is.

  • שי קמחי Post author

    There are no national minorities in France and the UK, and both are good democracies.

  • Devidas Nandgaonkar Post author

    I hav never see such kinda outrage in muslim countries where minorities treated as the second class citizens

  • DrAnon1 Post author

    Bomb Israeli colonies

  • josh o Post author

    what about saudia arabia

  • obama amabo Post author

    My imaginary freind say that half of the world belongs to me can i have it.
    I mean it work for the jews in there claim of palestinian so why not work whit me

  • Hammod Elbatal Post author

    How many are there of what so called Islamic countries and states? why does no one talk about them?

  • Angus Mac Post author

    Imagine if the USA declared itself the “Nation State of White People”?
    Would non-White people in the USA accept racism as official government policy?

  • Srikanth Gadicherla Post author

    This will happen to India as well.. Humans are diving us …

  • Azim Tomo Post author

    Wait, if she’s a Palestinian citizen in Israel, why is she in the Israeli parliament and not helping the politics in Palestine then?

  • Ajay Malolan Post author

    Come on guys Israel is a small country made for a very very small group of people, just let them be happy, let them identify themselves, nobody says it is bad when you have all those Muslim countries, then why fear this tiny bit of land.

  • Flavio Spadavecchia Post author

    How can they refuse the two state solution if they proposed it five times and Palestine continues to oppose it?

  • Vishnu K N Post author

    Israel continues to be a world leader in technology and entrepreneurship. You can say what ever you want. All countries want their defence weapons. They know how to keep themselves safe. Don't worry about it. Love from India.

  • lalit Sharma Post author

    4:03 as a supporter of Israel i am very very against Israeli settlements
    They need to leave those settlements
    How can peace deal will be reached??
    And on other hand Muslims majority countries and china are persecuting minorities without laws

  • Vehuel Bateo Post author

    Israel: claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East

    Netanyahu: I'm about to ruin this nation's career

  • G Bicelis Post author

    God bless Israel !

  • E Bicelis Post author

    Israel is fighting for their land. Probably Israeli should have treated Arabs as Arabs treat Jews in their own countries…

  • E Bicelis Post author

    How to be democratic and survive as a free society when you are surrounded by tyrannic tribes … countries???

  • LEIF TORBJÖRN Post author

    Oh, well, if celebrities are speaking against it, if must be bad.

  • IdAlm#kqly Post author

    you are mixing two issues
    in the case of 5:36 period the protest is about recognizing Israel as a not only Jewish country they didn't mention Palestine and the recognition Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because Druz people are supporting the county and even part of the army and they just want to get recognition as part of Israel country

  • Amitai Itzhakov Post author

    It is amazing how people are immersed completely in the leftist echo chamber and only echo one narrative while ignoring what the real reason for the law.

    The Nation State Law first and foremost is about Israeli's Judicial system which independently defined its constitution back in the mid 90s as the Basic Laws. Those laws were then used by a homogenous group of "progressive" judges to strike down laws of the Knesset based on their political bias and expand their powers. The Judicial system (as the Israeli bureaucracy) is politically aligned with the left. The Israeli Judiciary has disproportionate power to appoint their own supreme court judges in what amounts to a buddy system. There are no checks and balances on the Judicial branch and its mechanisms (including Legal advisors) have significantly more power than in other developed democracies. The supreme courts activist judges use the extreme interpretation of the basic laws to push their agenda and infringe on the legislative side by extreme interpretations of the law itself. Enter the Nation-State Law as a basic law. Israel has the Human Dignity and Liberty law as a basic law which was used improperly to strike down laws by the supreme court. There is no basic law which defines that Israel is a Jewish state (which it is, from its establishment), therefore the book of laws in which the Supreme court rules by does not have this defined. This law came to fill in the gap.
    Additionally the excerpt from the law regarding settlements is manipulated in the video. In hebrew hityashvut means settlement in a different manner then you present. It is not strictly beyond the green line, does not speak of Judea or Samaria but deals with building communities throughout Israel. You focused on what you call the West Bank because it fits your agenda but it is not necessarily the case.

    it is increadibly sad that such a supposedly educational video can be so blatantly one sided, but in today's hyper partisan world I expect nothing better. Dishonesty, blindness and evil are the best I can describe it.

  • Mr. E Post author

    What is a palestine

  • ROBO SANDVICH Post author

    Our state our rules live with it or leave..

  • Zena ibz Post author

    History will repeat itself……..

  • young jheedy Post author

    I dont get it man let them have a jewish state there is no issue and arabs dont really have problems with jewish people and not every arab believe jewish people are evil

  • butterfliesblue1 Post author

    Can an Arab be Jewish? In this case, does Judaism only apply to an ethnic group and not a religion?

  • Super Mario Post author

    A wall for Israel, open borders for the goy ! Oy vey !

  • Elisha Concepcion Post author

    Smh. This is disgusting. Hopefully he gets locked up for the rest of ITS life and the peoples voices WILL be heard when they VOTE.

  • Christianity is brown mans religion not white mans Post author

    Israel is literally an etho state. Open Borders for israel !

  • Johan Michael Post author

    Seems like history is repeating itself…

  • Will Post author

    This is very biased and had no people representing the other side.

  • Daveonator Post author

    They are still all filthy Jews wanting to dominate the world but just disagreeing on how to do so!

  • Mario Pierre Post author

    oh boy…

  • chris Favorite Post author

    i wonder what spicolli has to say?

  • sun rise Post author

    Israel = terrorism 🤮🤮

  • bluebloodbc Post author

    '…just another shallow breath in the last gasp of nationalism worldwide before we all finely shed our 'human condition' and become a global community.'
    -c. miller

  • AomiN Post author

    jewish state? for which of the 12 jewish tribes? XD


    Same is happening in india now ik why modi and benjamin has so bonding one wants jewish state and other hindu rashtra
    Edit:- both have same attitude towards muslim i.e lynching and abuse

  • Modi is my daddy Post author

    Muslims , christians , hindus , Buddhists have their own nations then why not Jews or sikhs ?

  • Ofek Arian Post author

    Wrong translation of the low… the original low determine that settle the "Land of Israel" is a national value, not specifically the West Bank.

  • Ofek Arian Post author

    by the way the things you've said in the end and the pictures, just a point for you to think over. Why a does this right leaders are threatening democracy in your opinion ? because they politically different with you ? because they were chosen by the people ? Does it democratic to say that right leaders are undemocratic ? to shame, inappropriate comment.

  • Debi Kinman Post author

    Congratulations Israel. You deserve to have your own country and capital. Keep your land, maintain your country.

  • No Labels Post author

    Only Jews can get away with so much racism. If you oppose them they will call you anti-Semitic.

  • USER112358134711 Post author

    Everybody forgets that Israel was the victor of 1967 war, even certain Israelis! The Israeli victory was not over another established state (in west Bank), but over a land Jordan occupied before. So, the victor can do anything he wants. In any case the Israeli Arabs have privileges that no other Arab has in the region. The Israelis are fully entitled to put first their own language, although local Arabic are not going to disappear at all. The Israelis are heritage savers, any heritage!

  • Tankiest tanky tank Post author

    Death to Israel Freedom to Palestine

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