Israel Approves Controversial Nation-State Legislation

The Israeli government says the bill, passed last week, will merely enshrine into law Israel’s existing character. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called its passage a ‘historic moment in the history of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel’. Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence defined its nature as a Jewish and democratic state, a delicate balance the country has grappled to maintain for 70 years. Opponents of the new bill say it marginalizes the country’s Arab minority of around 20 per cent and also downgrades Arabic language from official to ‘special’ standing.

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