Racist legislation

Jan. 18, 2005


In the summer of 2003, the Knesset promulgated a disgraceful law. The amendment to the Citizenship Law applied a sweeping prevention of unification of families and marriages between Israeli Arabs and Arabs from the region. Since the law was passed by the votes of 53 MKs — including Shinui — there has been a total halt to any requests by Israeli Arab citizens, including those who were already married and had children, to enable them to live in Israel with their relatives.

In effect, the state left its Arab citizens only one choice: to live in another country with their non-Israeli spouses. The amendment institutionalized discrimination against Arabs compared to any other non-Jewish citizen. Since it was passed, Israeli citizens could marry any non-Jew in the world and live with them in Israel, but if they married Arabs “from the region,” they could not live as a family in Israel.