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Erschienen: Januar 2013

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Political and Legal Attacks on the Palestinian-Arab Minority in Israel

Historical Progression, Current Threats and Future Actions Needed. By Yousef T. Jabareen, General Director of the non-profit organization Dirasat: the Arab Center for Law and Policy, lecturer in Law at the University of Haifa and at Tel Hai Academic College.

In the last few years, the public and political atmosphere in Israel has become extremely right-leaning. Initially, this move to the right may have appeared to be a fringe phenomenon or a development limited to the national politic sphere. However, today it is firmly implanted in the mainstream and is making deeper and deeper inroads into the legal and public spheres. While the trend is most obvious in the realm of legislation – through pending and newly passed legislation, along with successful amendments to existing laws – political successes have now been transformed into rhetoric and practice on the grassroots level. Basic principles of democracy – including the democratic process itself – are being severely eroded and can no longer be taken for granted. For example, elements of freedom of expression, a system of checks and balances in government and the independence of the judiciary have all been weakened. The Palestinian-Arab minority in Israel has been the primary target of repeated and sustained attacks and has been forced to defend its legitimacy, standing, freedom of political activity and basic citizenship rights. This paper will provide an analysis of the genesis of the change, offer some examples of actual and potential damage that recent trends pose to nearly 20% of Israel’s citizens (its Palestinian-Arab indigenous minority) and Israeli society in general, and will suggest some strategies for dealing with its ramifications while preventing additional decline.