The Nation-State Law (with Amjad Iraqi)

The Nation-State Law is actually affirming a lot of the practices that were in place for decades. In many ways, it’s nothing particularly new, and the right wing is just making it more explicit. The center-left wants to keep it delicate enough so that you maintain that democratic image. For Palestinian citizens of Israel, these two debates are unacceptable. We’re not looking for an overt system that legitimizes our inequality, and we’re not looking for a delicate system either that still legitimizes our inequality.
— Amjad Iraqi

On July 19, the Israeli Knesset passed the "Nation-State Bill" in a 62-55 vote. Many critics of the bill say that it undermines Israel's historic claim to be both Jewish and democratic in character. But does this new law actually change anything, or only make explicit the way things have been for decades? Is it possible for a state to be both affirmatively Jewish and treat its citizens equally?

Producer Ilana Levinson spoke to Amjad Iraqi, a Palestinian writer and policy adviser who was in the Knesset for the final debates before the Nation-State Bill was passed into law.  

This episode of Unsettled was produced and edited by Ilana Levinson, with technical help from Asaf Calderon. Original music by Nat Rosenzweig.

Amjad Iraqi, Headshot.jpg

Amjad Iraqi is a writer for +972 Magazine, a policy member of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, and was a projects and international advocacy coordinator at Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.




Preview image: James Emery, via Wikimedia Commons