Institutionalized Racism in Israel
Par Stephen Lendman, 01 février 2016

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Institutionalized racism in Israel is longstanding, separate and unequal official regime policy.

Last week, hardline Knesset members rejected Joint (Arab) List MK Jamal Zahalka’s draft measure, calling for inclusion of an equality clause in Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

Israel has no constitution. Basic Laws substitute. Presenting his draft measure to other Knesset members, Zahalka said:

“All constitutions in modern countries begin with stressing the principle of equality amongst their citizens. Even undemocratic countries adopt this principle legally, considering it a cornerstone for any modern political system, including democracy, which seems impossible and meaningless without equality.”

He called its exclusion from Israel’s Basic Laws “a serious absence, as it forces the judiciary, amongst others, to explain why the word equality is missing from the basic laws, which are in place of the constitution.”

“Anyone voting against the law is voting against equality, and does not have the right to promote democracy or say they are against discrimination and racism.”

“The entire world adopts the principle of equality in their laws, and this is the only country that does not embrace equality in its laws. This is clear proof of the state’s (deplorable) nature.”

Israel is a fascist police state. Democracy is pure fantasy. Regime extremists consider equality for all its citizens an existential threat.

A self-declared Jewish state assures inequality for citizens of other faiths, notably Muslims considered fifth columns, their fundamental rights denied.

Since 1948, Israel enacted dozens of racist laws “directly or indirectly discriminat(ing) against Palestinian citizens,” according to the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

Israel systematically violates fundamental international law, including the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating “(a)ll human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,”- a principle foundation for all human and civil rights.

Militarized occupation harshness, continued blockade of Gaza, and denying Israeli Arab citizens the same rights as Jews represent the greatest obstacles to equality for members of all faiths and ethnicities.

Hostility toward Arabs is so institutionalized in Israeli society, it’s hard seeing how inclusion of an equality clause in its Basic Law would change longstanding policies.

Laws are one thing, enforcing them another.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

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