Israel: New way to stay homogeneous?
10 Feb, 2012 06:23
Rights groups across Israel have petitioned the highly-controversial Israeli citizenship and entry law for Palestinians. The legislation, intended to pursue security, conversely, infringes on the rights of Israeli citizens to a family life.
In January Israel's Supreme Court has ruled that Palestinians will not be able to acquire Israeli citizenship through marriage.Without citizenship, Palestinian spouses – and often the children of those couples – are rendered illegal, affecting a wide range of rights.The government claims the law was designed for security reasons. It intends to prevent Palestinians from being able to get an Israeli ID through marriage. And then carry out attacks on Israeli citizens.But the rights groups For Palestinians and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel argue that the real story behind the law is not one of security. But rather one of demography. They claim the state wants to maintain its Jewish majority. And has found yet a new way to keep out Palestinians. The human rights activists say the number of Palestinians that have been allowed into Israel through marriage and later were caught engaging in terrorist activity is relatively small. According to their statistics, in the last 14 years, 130,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza entered Israel for the purposes of family reunification. Out of these, 54 were detained for involvement in security breaches, of whom only five have been arrested and indicted. These numbers undermine the government’s argument that Palestinians want to exploit family reunification to carry out terrorist attacks. RT’s Paula Slier’s went out to meet one such multinational family. Watch her report on how the new legislation threatens to tear it apart.