'Israel’s Nation-State Law'

Thursday 4 Oct 2018, 19:00 - 21:00
Spoken Language
Aula B
International Institute of Social Studies
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Israel's Nation-State Law - Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Ali Hasan Abunimah
Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Ali Hasan Abunimah

On 19 July 2018, Israel’s parliament enacted the so-called “Nation-State Law”. Among various controversial provisions, the law states that: “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people”.

During this public discussion at the International Institute of Social Studies,Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, an Israeli educator, and Ali Hasan Abunimah, a Palestinian-American journalist, will share their views as part of a public discussion on this law.

About the new law

Since the law was passed, tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israeli Jews have taken to the streets to protest against its discriminatory character. The Haifa-based organization Adalah, which has filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court, has described the law has having 'distinct apartheid characteristics'.

The Jewish character of the State of Israel has indeed long been a source of contestation and has been repeatedly challenged by both Israeli Jews and by Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel, not to mention Palestinian residents of the occupied Palestinian Territories.

While Israel actively encourages immigration (solely) from Jews around the world, being a society of many different faiths, ethnicities and creeds, the country famously lacks a definition of what it means to be an Israeli national. Indeed, there is no such thing as Israeli nationality; the country’s Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that to do so would 'undermine the Jewish character' of the State of Israel.

It is not difficult to ascertain the views of those who support the law, and of others who reject it. We feel it is crucial to get beyond the polemics and to have an informed discussion about what the implications of this law are for the future of both Israelis and Palestinians.

About the speakers

ISS is very pleased to host two, well-respected and critical commentators who will share their views as part of a public discussion.

Eitan Bronstein Aparicio is an Israeli educator. He has given numerous talks in different countries, and among his publications is The Nakba in Hebrew: Israeli-Jewish Awareness of the Palestinian Catastrophe and Internal Refugees. He is founder of the Israeli NGO Zochrot in which he served as director until 2011, and in 2015 he co-founded the organization De-Colonizer, a “research/art laboratory for social change”, of which he is presently co-director.

Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian-American journalist who has published hundreds of articles, including The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian and other leading newspapers. He is also a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, PBS and other news channels. He is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and The Battle for Justice in Palestine and is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Jeff Handmaker, Senior lecturer in law, human rights and development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), who has been following these issues for some time and recently co-edited (with George Bisharat, Ghada Karmi and Alaa Tartir) a Special Issue of the Global Jurist, Volume 18(3), 2018 on 'International Law, Legitimacy and the State of Israel'.

More information

This event has been made possible thanks to the support of the Leonhard Woltjer Foundation.

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