Jerusalem24 – Arab 48 – Citizens’ rights association, HamoKed center for individual rights, and Doctors for Human rights petitioned against the Israeli Citizenship law in the supreme court, on behalf of a group of people affected by the racist law, demanding it be repealed as it perpetuates and legalizes racism.
In their petition, the Israeli human rights organizations review the dramatic changes that have occurred during the past two decades since the first citizenship law was enacted in 2003, including the inability of the Israeli authorities to justify the “security objective” of the law, which was formulated within a right-wing racist vision based on the demographic was against Palestinians.
In addition, the petition presented a survey of a series of solutions that were agreed upon by many members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, who discussed the issue of enacting the law. The Shin Bet did not issue any opposition to these solutions; however, the mentioned solutions were not included in the legislation due to political considerations.
According to the petition, it was made clear, in Knesset sessions, that the law could have achieved its goal through a less serious infringement of human rights.
It was found that there is no security justification for withdrawing social rights and the official health insurance, those who were allowed to reside in Israel, and over the years they became practically residents of Israel, not to mention preventing them from receiving welfare and housing services, imposing restrictions on their possibilities of employment and earning a livelihood, and preventing them from receiving Legal aid and more.
However, the language that was adopted, “This and other rights are violated, only because those who agreed to vote for the law in the second and third readings demanded that the law infringe on human rights more seriously, without the matter having any security objective, and even while The Shin Bet has agreed that these difficulties can be alleviated.”
In addition to the above, the petition deals in detail with two groups particularly affected by the Nationality Law, women and children.
The petition asserts that women who hold a permit or are temporarily registered are at the bottom of the social ladder. Its standing in Israel depends on its partner and its relationship with it.
Oftentimes, women prefer to continue in an insecure relationship, or with a violent partner, and try to stay with their partner until the procedure for regularizing their status has been exhausted, a settlement with no clear prospect of achieving it, in the hope that they will gain permanent resident status, according to the petitioning societies.
The association said that “the Palestinian woman who does not want to lose her civil status, and sometimes her children, for fear of being expelled without them, may not be able to break free from a violent relationship based on abuse.”
With regard to children, the petition stated that “children without residency grow up to be adults who are not entitled to any of the rights of the population: social rights, higher education, freedom of employment, ability to drive a car, access to housing benefits, and many more.”
Practically all of this means that “these children who grow up in Israel know from an early age that the law does not allow them to lead a full human life. No matter how talented they are, they are condemned, under temporary law, to a life that is limited and without means, and they are also condemned, legally, with hardship in earning a livelihood, poverty, and hardship.
The petitioned associations said, “The Knesset had the opportunity to repeal a racist and discriminatory law that labels all Palestinians as a security threat, without conducting any examination on an individual basis. Instead, the Knesset members chose to re-establish human rights abuse with intent to cause harm, accumulating hardships and achieving harm, regardless of security needs.”
The associations added, “We have petitioned the Supreme Court because it will not be possible to maintain a law that deepens the unacceptable discrimination between Arab and Jewish citizens and residents of the state, regarding their right to family life in Israel, infringes on a long series of basic rights, separates spouses, parents and their children, and undermines the values of democratic state”.