Enshrining Discrimination: Israel’s Nation-State Law

VOL. 48


No. 1
P. 73
Enshrining Discrimination: Israel’s Nation-State Law

In July 2018, the Israeli Knesset passed Basic Law: Israel – The Nation-State of the Jewish People (the Nation-State Law). This article highlights three of the law’s central premises: the entrenched supremacy of Jewish settlers; the erasure of indigenous Palestinians; and, with reference to borders, the effective annexation of those parts of historic Palestine that were occupied in 1967. The authors reflect on the passage of the law within a broader history of settler colonialism and in the current global context of growing authoritarianism and overt institutionalized racism. The passage of such a colonial piece of constitutional legislation in 2018 is a testament to the continued resistance of Palestinians and the growing movement for Palestinian rights. The authors argue that the alternative to the exclusionary Nation-State Law, a rights-based, people-centered framework, is a promising avenue to not only secure Palestinian rights, but also advance a universal struggle for equality and historical justice.