The decision is intended to make the date an annual reminder of the struggle against the Israeli occupation
The Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in cooperation with the Israeli Arab High Monitoring Committee, has decided to mark July 19 as the “Day of Resistance against Israeli Apartheid.
July 19 is the day that Knesset passed the Basic Law “Israel: Nation-State of the Jewish People”.
The law enshrines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” indicates the settlement of Jewish communities in the territory as a national value, and defines Arabic as a language that has a “special” status in the state, eliminating the official status it held for 70 years.
Now part of Israel’s Basic Laws, which serve de facto as its political constitution, the legislation has received support for and opposition from both inside and outside Israel. Its backers argue that it equates the Jewish people with the democratic state, while its opponents see it as an affront to the country’s non-Jewish minorities, including the Druze and Arab communities.
The decision to make the date an annual reminder of the struggle against the Israeli occupation was approved at a Central Council meeting held Wednesday in the city of Ramallah, West Bank.
For his part, the Arab-Israeli legislator Ahmed Tibi, of the Knesset Joint List coalition, proposed the annual commemoration day to the Committee, the largest Arab body within the Jewish state. “The law of the nation-state creates a hierarchy of civilians according to their ethnic classification,” Tibi said. “Jews with rights have Jewish supremacy, and the Arabs are unequal second-class citizens,” he continued.
Tibi and Mohammad Barakeh, the chairman of the Committee, presented to the participants in the Central Council assembly the implications of the adoption of the Basic Law on the Arab public in Israel and on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
According to Tibi and Barakeh, the legislation and the person behind it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will prevent the implementation of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Tibi and Barakeh explained that an official day marking resistance against “Israeli apartheid” is an essential part of the public and international struggle against nation-state law.
Barakeh told reporters that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on PA embassies around the world to help Committee members and Arab lawmakers to act against the law, with an emphasis on advocacy and political work during the upcoming UN General Assembly.