Thousands protest Israel's 'racist' nation-state draft law
Tehran (KNA) - Some 7,000 people have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest against a controversial bill that declares Israel exclusively "the nation-state of the Jewish people."
Several Israeli politicians, social activists, public figures and lawmakers took part in Saturday's demonstration to condemn the discriminatory nature of the measure.
The bill is expected to come to a final vote at the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on Monday. If passed, it could become part of Israel's basic laws that serve as a de facto constitution.
The draft law prioritizes Jewish values over democratic ones in the occupied territories, declares Jerusalem al-Quds the "capital" of Israel, allows Jewish-only communities, sets Hebrew as the official language of Israel and relegates Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.
"In a joint statement, the participating organizations said, “The nation-state law would turn racism, discrimination and segregation into an inescapable part of our lives.
"Addressing the protest, Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh, who chairs the predominantly Arab Joint List party, said the bill is meant "to stick a finger in the eyes of a fifth of Israel's population, spark a dispute and polarize in order to make a political gain for the Netanyahu tyranny.
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the passage of the law is one of his top priorities. He hopes to get the bill approved before the parliament begins its summer recess on July 22.