Move to give Jews special status sparks controversy

Israel's Nation State Law said to entrench discrimination against Arab citizens and promote cause of Jewish settlers

Israel's controversial Nation State Law has provoked indignation all over the world. The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest and most prominent Jewish advocacy organisations in the United States, said it was "deeply disappointed" with the law because it puts "at risk the commitment of Israel's founders to build a country that is both Jewish and democratic". Famed orchestra conductor Daniel Barenboim was more explicit, writing in Israel's Haaretz newspaper that "we now have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It therefore is a very clear form of apartheid".

This view was echoed by Mr Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, a political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties in Israel, who told Israel's Parliament that Israel "has passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citizens".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'Move to give Jews special status sparks controversy'. Subscribe