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Irrevocable change

Jul 22,2018 - Last updated at Jul 22,2018

The Israeli Knesset adopted on July 19th an organic legislation that purports to declare Israel a "nation-state of the Jewish people". The new basic law did not stop there — it also referred to Jerusalem, East and West, as the capital of Israel! Last but not least, the new law regarded Hebrew as the only state language, while referring to the Arabic language as enjoying a special status to be defined by the adoption of additional regulations.

This Israeli basic law has simply changed irrevocably the landscape of Israeli-Palestinian relations and has put it a new framework that can only make the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a distant dream. True, the Israeli Knesset adopted this provocative new law by a thin majority, with only 62 Knesset members voting for it, and 55 members against it Still, it has acquired the status of a basic law on par with a constitutional provision that renders its amendment in the future a near impossibility. 

According to Israel's central bureau of statistics, the number of Palestinian Arabs living as citizens in Israel is close to 1,750,000 people. This fact makes them, under international norms, a "people" entitled to the enjoyment of the right of self-determination, and makes Israel a binational state. We are not talking here about a mere minority and minority rights when speaking of the Israeli Arabs, but rather about a people. How can Israel deny a people living on its soil the recognition of their exercise very existence and the right to self-determination? If there are still doubts on the status of the Israeli Arabs, all interested parties must seek the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and also human rights treaty bodies, on the top of which is the Human Rights Committee for its jurisprudence on this fundamental issue.

The Israeli blasphemy is also extended to the status of Jerusalem by now coveting the entire city as the capital of Israel. This negates every international principle governing the resolution of the Palestinian conflict and puts an end to the two-state solution. These regressive developments take the Palestinians many steps backward in their quest for a homeland with East Jerusalem its capital.

One wonders who gave Israel the green light to go ahead and adopt such a provocative law, but all hypotheses suggest that it can be only US President Donald Trump.

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