UN legal committee singles out Israel’s Nation-State Law for condemnation

The international legal committee also blasted what it called Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians for safety measures the government takes against terror attacks. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A U.N. committee expressed “concern” Friday that Israel’s Nation-State Law may run counter to the principles of an international convention that Israel has signed, Israel Hayom reported Sunday.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of 18 independent legal experts that monitors implementation of the U.N. Convention against such discrimination.

The Committee recommended that the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People should be amended “to explicitly incorporate the principle of equality and the prohibition of racial discrimination.”

It is “concerned” about the law’s “discriminatory effect” because it says that the right to exercise self-determination in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.” In its current iteration, the law is not in line with the articles of the Convention, according to the committee.

The members also opposed the law stating that Judea and Samaria are “a national value.” The committee members were of the opinion that Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are illegal. Changing the demographic composition in these “occupied” areas, the report stated, is a “violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

This stands in stark contrast to the recent decision by the U.S. that Jewish communities in those areas don’t violate international law.

Other “concerns” of the Committee included the Entry into Israel Law, which grants automatic citizenship to Jews, and which ,as of 2018, allows Israel’s interior minster to revoke permanent residency permits of Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem.

This amendment was incorporated in the law to allow Palestinian residents of the capital who were convicted of terrorist attacks to be deported.

It also called the restrictions on movement of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, including the security fence, checkpoints and separate roads that Israel established for the safety of its citizens, “policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid,” and “urged” Israel to “eradicate” them.

All states that have signed the convention must submit biannual reports to the Committee on how their governments are safeguarding human rights.

Before publishing its latest periodic report on the Jewish state, the Committee heard from a large panel of Israelis, including representatives of the Foreign Affairs and Justice Ministries, as well as Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which had petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court against the Nation-State law when it was passed.