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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Labour Changes Manifesto as a result of Zionist Pressure – No Condemnation of Israeli Settlements or Violence

Once again Corbyn Backs Down as Zionist Lobby Continues to Attack him
The article below by Asa Winstanley makes it clear that the draft Labour manifesto was altered as a result of  pressure from the Labour Friends of Israel, which is nothing more than a front for the Israeli Labour Party, and the Jewish Labour Movement, an extension of the Israeli Labour Party inside our Labour Party.  

A statement that the expansion of settlements on the West Bank was ‘wrong and illegal’ was taken out at the last minute.  Likewise a statement that ‘that Labour “cannot accept the continued humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” was also removed.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza includes hunger, people dying for lack of medicines, water that is 90% unfit to be drunk and an  inability to rebuild after Israel's last attack because Israel refuses to allow building materials in (in conjunction with the Egypian police state under Sisis with whom Israel works).  Couple this with electricity for 3-4 hours a day, 80% unemployment, Israel regularly shooting and killing Gaza fishermen because Israel doesn't like Palestinians in Gaza having independent access to food resources, and you have a humanitarian catastrophe.  Corbyn's gutlessness in not facing that snake Tom Watson down and insisting that Israel is at fault is despicable.
The equation of Israel's continuous military violence with Palestinian attempts to fight back is an example of how far Corbyn has capitulated to Watson and co
The idea that 'rockets' from Gaza, which are little more than car exhausts and which haven't in any case been fired now for some 2 years, equates to the FI-5 fighter planes of Israel and the one ton bombs they drop on civilian areas is to equate the violence of the Yugoslav resistance with that of the Nazis.

The reason why the initial policy statements were dropped?  These statements were unbalanced.  Presumably a condemnation of Apartheid in South Africa would also have been ‘unbalanced’ as far as the White Supremacists were concerned.  How can you be neutral between an occupier and the occupied?  The idea of 'equivalence' between an occupier and an occupied people, who are subject to the full force of military repression is obscene.
Showing the typical Zionist ingratitude, Jeremy Newmark of the racist Jewish Labour Movement makes it clear that he doesn't and won't support Corbyn as Prime Minister - fortunately Newmark is in an unwinnable 

Israel maintains a military and settler colonial occupation of the West Bank.  3 million Palestinians have no civil or political rights.  They are governed by an entirely different set of laws and regulations to Jewish settlers, Military Law as opposed to Israel’s civil law, is usually known as Apartheid.  When one takes into account that Israel’s Palestinians are also treated as a guest population, segregated and the subject of violence and discrimination, in Israel on sufferance, then the removal of even the reference to the continued humanitarian crisis, especially in Gaza is a disgrace.

Corbyn spent 30+ years in the Palestine solidarity movement.  His capitulation to the Zionist lobby is sad.  The same lobby which, in the case of the Jewish Labour Movement voted 92-4% to support Owen Smith last summer.  The Chair of the JLM Jeremy Newmark has made it clear that in the event of him being elected, fortunately very unlikely, he would not support Jeremy Corbyn alongside a number of right-wingers such as Hove’s Peter Kyle and John Woodcock.
The Zionists would have Labour be even handed between a military occupation and the rights of those who live under occupation
The Israeli state isn't the cuddly and warm Jewish state that its propagandists over here put over.  Israel is the state that forged the closest alliance with Apartheid South Africa.  It is the state that supplied, armed and trained the Guatemalan military who murdered up to 200,000 Mayan Indians.  In other words Israel is a pariah state led by war criminals.

Unfortunately there is no Palestine solidarity group inside the Labour Party to counter the Israeli Embassy’s groups – Labour Friends of Israel and Jewish Labour Movement.

Tony Greenstein

Israel lobby claims “win” over Labour manifesto changes
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launching the party’s 2017 manifesto. (Labour Party)
A section about Palestine in the UK Labour Party’s new manifesto was significantly altered after intervention from the Israel lobby.

The main opposition party published a list of pledges this week ahead of a general election on 8 June.
A draft of the manifesto was leaked to the press last week.

Reference in the draft to “expansion of Israeli settlements on the Palestinian West Bank” being “wrong and illegal” was removed from the final document.

A second line stating that Labour “cannot accept the continued humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” was also removed.

According to London newspaper The Times, the changes were made after Jeremy Newmark, chair of pro-Israel group the Jewish Labour Movement, complained about the draft being an “unbalanced, partisan” text.

The final document demanded both “an end to the [Israeli] blockade” of Gaza, its “occupation and settlements” and an “end to [Palestinian] rocket and terror attacks.” By doing so, it created a false equation between the violence of Israel, a highly militarized state, and the resistance tactics used by some Palestinian groups in response to Israeli oppression.
Palestinian state
But Labour’s commitment to recognizing a Palestinian state was also made more explicit in the final version.

The draft had only said a Labour government would “support Palestinian recognition at the UN.” The final version commits the party to “immediately recognize the state of Palestine” if it wins the election.

Labour Friends of Israel, a pressure group within the party, has described the changes as a “difficult win,” according to The Jewish Chronicle.

Jeremy Newmark did not reply to request for comment.

Newmark is a long-standing leader in the UK’s Israel lobby, and has a history of working closely with the Israeli government against the Palestine solidarity movement.

He is standing as Labour’s candidate for a north London seat in Parliament.

The final version of the manifesto’s section on Palestine seems to have been essentially reverted to the pledges Labour made before the 2015 general election. The two wordings are almost identical, apart from the references to Palestinian “terror attacks” and the “state of Palestine.”

The manifesto now says that “there can be no military solution to this conflict and all sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve.”

The 2017 Labour manifesto has been hailed as radical and is proving to be popular with voters.
Although Labour is still trailing the ruling Conservative Party in opinion polls, its ratings have been surging after unvealing a series of policy proposals.

Supposedly “radical” Labour policies such as building 100,000 social-rent homes a year and slightly increasing tax for those with an annual salary exceeding £80,000 ($104,000) were once polical consensus, carried out by Labour and Conservative governments alike.

It is only because politics in the UK swung so far right under Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives in the 1980s, and later under Tony Blair’s New Labour, that current leader Jeremy Corbyn’s modest social democratic program can be portrayed by a hostile media as a dangerous and “radical” document which would take the UK “back to the 1970s.”

But when it comes to Palestine, the manifesto seems to reflect long-failed conventional “wisdom.”
And it proposes no sanction that would hold Israel to account for its human rights violations against Palestinians. Even the draft version contained no such proposal.

When it comes to foreign policy, Corbyn’s “radicalism” remains very much constrained by the Labour Party’s right-wing, pro-Israel remnants. 

When 'Say No to Israel’ means ‘Say Yes to Holocaust Denial’

Are You a Holocaust Believer?  Neo-Nazi Facebook Group Masquerades as Anti-Zionist

Say No to Israel's neo-Nazi Admins

Some months ago I was a made a member of the Say No to Israel site.  I don’t even know when.  Nor have I ever commented on the site. My only interaction with SNTI was to post links to articles from my blog.

A week ago I noticed that an Alex McGowin had posted a link on the Say no to Israel FB page to ‘Holocaust Deprogramming Course’.  Curious as to what this might entail, I clicked on the picture and sure enough it led to a fully fledged holocaust denial site with all the same old nonsense.
I therefore sent a message to the four Admins - Robert Farrar, Kyle Khalil Zanika, Abyssa Khalil and Karmen Yiu-Zanika – asking that this post be deleted.  After this I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later, Kyle contacted me to say he was going to remove the post and when was it posted.  By this time I couldn’t even remember the name of the FB group in question.  When Kyle reminded me, I searched through all the groups of which I was a member and then a curious thing – I didn’t seem to be a member of any such group! 
The original post I complained about - am I a holocaust believer!
It was therefore clear that I must have been removed by an Admin and when I put this to Kyle he said that the only admins were he and his daughter Karmen.  The first lie which he told since there are 4 listed (see graphic).  After pointing out that I had sent my message to all 4 admins he then said that a Robert Farrar had removed me because ‘he said you were posting things irrelevant to the cause.’  I’m not sure which cause he was referring to  by this time.
My conversation with Kyle - admin for SNTI FB group
He then made a very curious remark.  'Are you a Holocaust believer?' It’s like asking someone if they believe the Earth is round! Most people, strangely enough do.

Kyle then informed me that the Holocaust is ‘very disputable’ on the basis that ‘some of my Jewish friends told me that it was the greatest lie in history.’  ‘Some of my best friends are Jewish’ is the standard response of anti-Semites but it still took me aback.  Then he went on a ramble about the Holocaust having been 75 years ago when news was controlled by the Elite (whoever they are) and when ‘we had no way to check facts.’  I suspect even 75 years ago it was quite easy to check out facts.  What became very clear is that Kyle had checked out nothing bar his own prejudices.
From the World Jewish Congress Yearbook
I asked Kyle why he had originally said he would remove the post if he found nothing wrong with it, but there was no answer to this or indeed most of my other comments.  Apparently Kyle is ‘100% semite’ whatever that is, but the Holocaust is irrelevant.  At this point I was beginning to think that maybe Kyle was suffering from cognitive dissonance as nothing he said was making much sense.
Those liking holocaust denial comments
After challenging him to name his friends in Chicago I was told that he couldn’t do this as I might be the Mossad, though it’s difficult to know why Israel’s MI6 should be interested in a certified nutter.  But at least his ‘many friends’ had now declined to just one anonymous friend.

Kyle’s main reasons for believing the Holocaust didn’t happen was that there were only 5 million European Jews in 1939 so how can 6 million die?  He had this on good authority from a 1939 New York Times article.  Unsurprisingly he couldn't provide an exact date, meaning it will be impossible to check.  In any case the Nazis were quite happy with a figure of 11 million in January 1942. though this was probably too high.  It is difficult to believe that there was a population explosion amongst Europe’s Jews between 1939 and 1942 such that the Jewish population more than doubled.

The SNTI FB page has over 5,000 members so it is clear that many members are unaware of the fact that the site is controlled by neo-Nazis, anti-Semites or racist buffoons.  Having undertaken a more in depth look at the site it is clear that there is a hard-core of fascists and neo-Nazis posting Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic stuff. 
Communism = Judaism (if only!)
I would hope therefore that most of those who are members would not want to associate with this site.  It was the Hitler regime and anti-Semitism in Europe which led to thousands of Jews in the 1930’s emigrating to Palestine.  The numbers doubled from 209,000 Jews in Palestine in 1933 to over 400,000 in 1939.  This provided the critical mass for the Jewish state-in-the-making.  Without the Hitler regime in Germany, it is unlikely there would have been a Zionist State of Israel.

To therefore post nonsense about there having been no Holocaust in Nazi occupied Europe is worse than stupidity.  It is to give aid and comfort to the very political force that was responsible for the establishment of the Israeli state in the first place, a state which ethnically cleansed its Arab population in order to create an artificial Jewish majority.  

The Nazi apologetics of Robert Farrar, Kyle Khalil Zanika, Abyssa Khalil and Karmen Yiu-Zanika far from being a sign of opposition to Zionism are the very opposite.
There is nothing that the Zionist movement wants to see than Holocaust denial in the Palestine solidarity movement.  Why?  Because it ‘proves’ that their opponents are anti-Semitic and thus provide s a powerful justification for the Israeli state and Zionism.  Without anti-Semitism there would never have been Zionism but Kyle and co. are too stupid to understand this very simple piece of logic.
Of course it is understandable why Kyle and his fellow fools are holocaust deniers.  Zionism claims that the justification for and legitimacy of Israel is provided by the Holocaust.  The Holocaust is, if you like, the historic  recompense for the murder of 6 million Jews.  Kyle and friends, like Ahmedinajad in Iran, believe that if you deny the Holocaust then you deny the legitimacy of Israel.   
Another delightful post on the SNTI   FB page
There is just one problem with this idiocy.  The Holocaust took place independently of the use that Zionism makes of it today.  It is a historical fact.  The Holocaust happened.  Its chief perpetrators, Eichmann, Himmler and Hoess the commandant of Auschwitz, all admitted that the Holocaust took place.  Eichmann boasted of his role in a freely given interview with Dutch Nazi journalist Wilhelm Sassen in 1957 and Himmler was recorded in October 1943 explaining the reasons for the extermination of the Jews to senior SS officers in Posen, Poland.

Looking through the list of members of the Say No to Israel site, it didn’t surprise me that arch racist and holocaust denier Gilad Atzmon is a member.

Tony Greenstein 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Zionist Attack on Tom Suarez - Its Time to Defend Free Speech on Palestine and Israel

Tom Suarez has produced an important book on the bloody and terrorist origins of the Israeli state.  It is for this reason and no other that Zionist organisations in this country – primarily the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the so-called Campaign Against Anti-Semitism have been waging a campaign to prevent halls from staging his talks.

Disgracefully Portsmouth City Council via its Prevent Officer Charlie Pericleous used the bogus pretext of ‘anti—terrorism’ to stifle out free speech in Portsmouth.  It is incumbent upon the Palestine solidarity and wider labour movement to ensure that Israel’s policy of censorship is not exported to Britain. 

That means first and foremost that Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other groups should rise to the challenge by organising a speaking tour for Tom Suarez.  They want to shut him up, we should say no to Zionist Political Terrorism.  Free Speech is a principle that Zionism is not going to destroy in this country.

Tony Greenstein
It's shocking that someone should call Israel racist or fascist

Jonathan Cook
15 May 2017

Tom Suarez has written an important history of early Zionism, State of Terror, finding in British archives a wealth of evidence damaging to the Zionist cause. The archives reveal a troubling story of a colonial settler movement prepared to ally itself with powerful anti-semites in European 
governments to achieve its goal of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. That included at different times dealing with the Nazis and the Italian fascists.

It is also worth remembering that British officials who aided the Zionist movement were far from immune to anti-semitism either. The Balfour Declaration, 100 old years this year, was Britain’s promise to the Zionists to help them create a “national home” at the expense of the Palestinian people. But as Edwin Montagu, the only Jew in the British cabinet at that time, realised, it was also a very good way for Britain’s anti-semitic elites to rid themselves of a domestic Jewish population while also creating a colony-state in the Middle East dependent on Britain.
The notorious racist Jonathan Hoffman spearheads campaign to suppress free speeech
As Suarez’s books reveals in shocking detail, any means were seen as legitimate by the Zionists, including violence and terrorism against Palestinian civilians, the British, and even fellow Jews, in their efforts to drive out the native population. A lengthy extract from Suarez’s book, published by Mondoweiss, gives a disconcerting taste of what the Zionists were prepared to do to win themselves someone else’s homeland.

The single most deadly terror attack conducted by the Zionists in Palestine was not the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, as is commonly remembered. It was “the Jewish Agency’s bombing of the immigrant ship Patria in 1940, killing an estimated 267 people, of whom more than 200 were Jews fleeing the Nazis.”
How shocking - the Daily Mail is affronted by the idea that Zionism is either fascist or racist - being a paragon of anti-racism itself
The Jewish Agency, the Zionists’ government-in-waiting in Palestine, wanted to foil British efforts to relocate to Mauritius these Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. For the Zionist leadership, it was worth killing Jews if it aided the cause of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. As Suarez concludes, the terror attack “was no aberration, but the driving principle of the Zionist project: Persecuted Jews served the political project, not the other way around.”

Similar uses of terror continued after Israel’s creation in 1948, part of false-flag operations to drive Jews out of Arab lands as a way to bolster the Jewish majority in the new state of Israel.
Suarez also reminds us that before the rise of Hitler the Zionist movement was far from popular, even among most European Jews:  most Jews and Jewish leaders dismissed Zionism as the latest anti-Semitic cult. They had fought for equality, and resented being told that they should now make a new ghetto – and worse yet, to do so on other people’s land. They resented being cast as a separate race of people, as Zionism demanded.
The Daily Mail - the paper which supported Hitler - is concerned about allegations that the Zionists (who it calls Jews) exploited the Holocaust - it is a matter of record that they did!
Even after Hitler launched the Holocaust, most Jews fleeing Europe wanted to head to the new promised land of the United States, not a territory unknown to them in a region, the Middle East, most would have associated with deserts and backwardness. But US Zionists lobbied their own officials ferociously to get the doors closed to most of these Jews, forcing them to become Zionists in Palestine.

In 1944 US Zionist leaders sabotaged President Roosevelt’s provisional success in establishing a half million new homes for European DPs [displaced persons], most of these homes in the United States and Britain. When Roosevelt’s aide Morris Ernst visited the Zionist leaders in an attempt to save the program, he was, in his words, “thrown out of parlours and accused of treason” – “treason”, because he was Jewish, and the Zionists owned Jews.

This is archival history that has been intentionally forced down the memory hole – by Zionist organisations, by Israel and by British officials – for very good reason. It risks reminding us that Israel emerged out of an unholy alliance between, on the one hand, British anti-semites and colonial officials and, on the other, Jewish ethnic supremacists who had adopted for themselves the ugly ideology of Europe’s racial nationalists.
US intelligence officials in the Middle East, points out Suarez, understood the roots of Zionist ideology. In a report in 1943, they concluded that Zionism in Palestine was “a type of nationalism which in any other country would be stigmatised as retrograde Nazism”.

The tactics of the Zionist leadership haven’t much changed even now that their state, Israel, has been achieved. Today, they don’t need to blow up hotels to get their way. Instead, its more fanatical devotees use respectable kinds of terror to silence anyone, like Suarez, who wants to remind us of this hidden history and help us understand how the past can cast a very clear light on the present.
I advise you to read this post by him explaining how Zionist leaders in the UK, backed by media like the Daily Mail (a paper that has a long history of anti-semitism and that expressed sympathy for the Nazis back in the 1930s), have worked on a ruthless misinformation campaign to seek to discredit Suarez and prevent him from holding public events. The catalogue of cancelled speaking engagements he documents is truly exasperating.

Sadly, too few organisations emerge from this affair with honour. These confected smear campaigns still work because we let them. The Quakers, who have had a relatively good history of supporting pro-Palestinian activism, have let themselves down badly in twice bowing to such intimidation.
The goal of Zionist activists like Jonathan Hoffman and Zionist organisations like the Board of 
Deputies of British Jews is not just to silence Suarez. They want to pillory him as a warning to anyone who might think to follow in his footsteps. Similar intimidation campaigns in the UK to stop criticism of Israel have been launched against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a raft of Labour activists who support Palestinian rights.

Will any academic, young or old, dare to unearth more of these of official documents telling the real story of Israel’s creation? Would any of them want to suffer the smears and the irreparable damage to their professional reputations after seeing what has happened to Suarez.

Similar campaigns against journalists (I have some personal experience of this!) ensure that they mostly keep their heads down too. They won’t be publicising or reviewing Suarez’s book.
When politicians, writers, thinkers, journalists and academics are all targeted if they dare to speak even a little truth about Israel or about Zionism, who is left with any prominence who can do so?
Jonathan Hoffman and smear artists like him know the answer very well. Which is why they are not about to stop using misinformation and falsehoods to blacken the name of anyone with integrity like Suarez who tries to offer some illumination.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Israel has officially declared itself an apartheid state

Earlier this week Israel’s Knesset passed the first reading of the Jewish Nation-state bill.  In so doing it made it clear, beyond any doubt, that Israel is now officially an apartheid state.  Israel has, of course, always declared itself to be a Jewish state, despite having a 20% non-Jewish minority.  But now this has become a Basic Law, which is the equivalent of a constitutional law in a country with no constitution.

At the same time the status of the Arab language, which up till now has been a second official language of Israel, although in practice very few signs are in both Hebrew and Arabic, has now been relegated to a language with a ‘special status’.

This is of course what happened in South Africa where Afrikaans was the official language.
Israel is a state without a nationality – something that is quite unique in any modern state.  Instead nationalities are based on religion, a pre-French revolution concept, and being a Jewish state the Jewish ‘nationality’ was the first and most important.
A good example of how the Jewish state treats non-jews
This whole concept of a Jewish state is based on the racial myth that Israel is the 'historic homeland' of the Jewish people.  It is nothing of the sort.  It may be the religious centre of the Jewish religion but Zionism is about creating a Jewish nation/race.  It is not a religious movement although it uses religion to define that nation/race.  It is like suggesting that Palestine is the historic homeland of Christians because Jesus was born, crucified and resurrected there.

The home of Jews throughout the world is where they live.  Pure and simple.  Anything else is a racial myth and should be consigned to the same historical dustbin as ideas of a 1,000 year Reich.

But it is worse than that because Israel is a state not of its own citizens – Jewish and non-Jewish – but a state of the ‘Jewish people’ a mythical concept which is based on race not religion.
Read the following article by Jonathan Cook which is extremely good.

Tony Greenstein
Apartheid flags flies outside Knesset

Israel’s Jewish Nation-State bill ‘declaration of war’

11 May 2017
Israel’s Knesset has passed its first vote on a new bill defining Israel as ‘a national home of the Jewish people’

Al Jazeera – 11 May 2017

New legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week.

The bill, which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its first vote in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, after it received unanimous backing from a government committee on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute books within 60 days.
Fraudster Netanyahu speaks on 4th May 2017 in favour of Israel Apartheid Bill
Among its provisions, the legislation – popularly known as the Jewish Nation-State Bill – revokes the status of Arabic as an official language, even though it is the mother tongue of one in five citizens. Israel’s population includes a large minority of 1.7 million Palestinians.

The legislation affirms that world Jewry has a “unique” right to national self-determination in Israel, and calls for the government to further strengthen ties to Jewish communities outside Israel.
It also increases the powers of so-called “admissions committees” that block Palestinian citizens from living in hundreds of communities that control most of Israel’s land.

Threat to peace talks

In addition, critics are concerned that the legislation is intended to stymie prospects of reviving peace talks with the Palestinian leadership in the occupied territories. US President Donald Trump is due in the region later this month in what is widely assumed to be an attempt to kick-start a long-stalled peace process.

Netanyahu, however, has already indicated that he will insist on a precondition that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, recognise Israel as a Jewish state. The new bill effectively sets out the terms of the state Abbas is expected to recognise.

Netanyahu said this week that all Zionist parties in parliament would be expected to support the legislation. “The bill establishes the fact that the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people in our historic homeland,” he told supporters of his Likud party.

He added: “There is no contradiction at all between this bill and equal rights for all citizens of Israel.”  However, leaders of Israel’s large Palestinian minority strenuously disagreed.

‘We won’t disappear’  

Ayman Odeh, head of the Palestinian-dominated Joint List party in the Israeli parliament, warned that the legislation would ensure “the tyranny of the majority over the minority”.

Under the bill, Hebrew alone will be an official language, with Arabic accorded only “special status”. Palestinian citizens already complain that most public services and official documents are not provided in Arabic.

“The aim is to portray institutional racism in Israel as entirely normal, and make sure the apartheid reality here is irreversible,” Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, told Al Jazeera.

“It is part of the right’s magical thinking – they are in denial that there is an indigenous people here still living in their homeland. We are not about to disappear because of this law.”

Superior rights

In strictly legal terms, the Jewish Nation-State Bill offers limited changes. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has defined itself as a state of the Jewish people rather than of all the country’s citizens, including its Palestinian minority.

The Law of Return of 1950 allows only Jews to immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship. Adalah, a legal rights group, has documented dozens of laws that explicitly discriminate against Palestinian citizens.

But the new legislation is significant for reasons beyond its immediate legal implications.
Not least, it gives Israel’s self-definition as the nation-state of the Jewish people something akin to constitutional standing, observed Ali Haider, a human rights lawyer and former co-director of Sikkuy, an organisation lobbying for equal citizenship rights.

The bill, if passed, will join a handful of Basic Laws intended to provide the foundation for any future constitution. Such laws take precedence over ordinary laws and are much harder to repeal.

“This is a very dangerous step because it makes explicit in a Basic Law that all Jews, even those who are not citizens, have superior rights in Israel to those citizens who are Palestinian,” he told Al Jazeera.

Intimidation of judges

An alternative draft of the new law that promised equal rights to all citizens was effectively blocked by the government in January when it came up for consideration.

Haider said the new version would provide the constitutional foundation to justify a tide of other laws intended to marginalise Palestinian citizens and erode their rights as citizens.

An Expulsion Law passed last year gives Israeli parliament the power to expel Palestinian MPs if they make political statements the Jewish majority disapprove of. Another bill before the parliament, the Muezzin Law, silences the Muslim call to prayer.

Such laws are almost certain to be challenged in Israel’s supreme court. “The judges will be much more reluctant to intervene if the Jewish Nation-State Bill is in force,” Haider said. “They will feel under pressure to ignore basic democratic principles and give priority to Israel’s Jewish character.”
He added that there would be little opposition from the Jewish public. A survey by the Israel Democracy Institute last December found that more than half of Israeli Jews wanted any citizen who rejected Israel’s definition as a Jewish state stripped of basic rights.

Preparations for annexation

Another key goal of the bill for the Netanyahu government is its likely impact on any moves to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas and Donald Trump met last week.

Netanyahu’s government no longer pays even lip service to the idea that it might agree to a Palestinian state. Most debates in the Israeli cabinet focus instead on intensifying settlement building and preparations for annexing areas of the West Bank.

Zoabi noted that since Netanyahu came to power in 2009, he has worked tirelessly to persuade Washington to accept a new precondition for talks: that the Palestinian leadership must first recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

Sacrificing refugees’ rights

The new bill would place Abbas in a tricky position, allowing him to enter talks with Israel only if he first agrees to sacrifice the rights both of Israel’s Palestinian citizens to equal citizenship and of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes.

“This law is aimed not only at Abbas but at Trump,” said Zoabi. “It gives him a map instructing him exactly what can be negotiated over and what the terms of a solution must look like.”

Avi Dichter, a member of Netanyahu’s party who drafted the bill, indicated the diplomatic use it would be put to.

He told the Israeli website Ynet: “The Palestinian aspiration to eliminate the Jewish people’s nation-state is no longer secret”. He added that Israel must make “demands of its enemies to recognize it as the nation-state of the Jewish people”.

Netanyahu echoed Dichter, saying this week that the bill was “the clearest answer to all those who are trying to deny the deep connection between the people of Israel and its land”.

Apartheid regime 

It is probably not coincidental that the Nation-State Bill is being fast-tracked as far-right ministers in Netanyahu’s government have drafted separate legislation to apply Israeli laws in the West Bank. 

This is a key component of efforts by settlers and their supporters in government to annex the West Bank by stealth.

Marzuq al-Halabi, a Palestinian journalist writing for the Israeli website 972, warned this week that on the back of the Nation-State Bill the government would seek to redraw Israel’s borders to include parts or all of the West Bank.

The resulting “apartheid regime” would then “create… ‘justified crimes’ against the Palestinian people, such as population transfer or removal,” he wrote.

A Haaretz editorial agreed that Netanyahu was laying the groundwork for annexing the West Bank without conferring rights on its Palestinian population.

The new law, it said, was intended as “the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid” in Israel and the occupied territories, allowing Israel to “maintain control over… a Palestinian majority living under its rule”.