It has been a thorny problem for Israel’s legislators. How to allow the Jewish National Fund and Jewish towns to reject Arab inhabitants without specifiying ‘Arabs not wanted’. In South Africa and the Deep South of the USA there signs such as ‘Whites Only’, ‘Dogs and Blacks Keep Out’ but this would be somewhat embarrassing for the ‘Jewish’ State.
After the Kadaan case in 2005, when Israel’s Supreme Court was left with no alternative but to rule that Arabs were entitled to lease flats and apartments from the Israeli Land Administration and implicitly the JNF, Zionist rulers have faced a dilemma. At first they simply introduced a JNF Bill which starkly stated that leasing land only to Jews was not discriminatory. But this was like a law stating that Black is White.
The law may state it, but it’s not true. Now however more subtle forces are at work. Existing residents may decide, on the basis of their social fit and whether their ‘face fits’ if someone should be rejected or not. And what a surprise! Jewish towns reject Arabs as not fitting in. Eat your heart out Drs Malan and verwoerd.
Knesset panel approves controversial bill allowing towns to reject residents
Israeli Arab MKs al-Sana and Tibi walk out on committee discussion, calling it a 'criminal law' aiming to prevent Arabs from joining Israeli towns.
By Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury
The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill which gives the right to absorption committees of small communities in Israel to reject candidates if they do not meet specific criteria.
The bill has sparked wide condemnation and many believe it to be discriminatory and racist, since it allows communities to reject residents if they do no meet the criteria of "suitability to the community's fundamental outlook", which in effect enables them to reject candidates based on sex, religion, and socioeconomic status.
"In my opinion, every Jewish town needs at least one Arab. What would happen if my refrigerator stopped working on a Saturday?"The bill is due to be presented before the Knesset plenum in the coming weeks.
Israeli Arab MKs were outraged by the proposal and walked out on the committee's discussion of it. MK Talab al-Sana (United Arab List – Ta'al) called the bill racist and said it was meant to prevent Arabs from joining Israeli towns. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta'al) compared the bill to racist laws in Europe during World War Two, and the two told the committee members before leaving the hall: "We will not cooperate with this criminal law – you have crossed the line."
The committee's chairman, David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), responded to claims the bill was meant to reject Arabs from joining Israeli towns. "In my opinion, every Jewish town needs at least one Arab. What would happen if my refrigerator stopped working on a Saturday?"
See also Bill allowing towns to reject residents gains ground