Thursday, June 18, 2015
Israel extends discriminatory family law for another year
The law was first introduced as a temporary security measure that would only last for a year, aimed at preventing potential terrorists coming into Israel through marriage.
Defending the law, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom drew attention to Palestinians who "took advantage of their status in Israel as a result of family reunification processes to become involved in terrorist activities, including aiding in carrying out suicide attacks."
He encouraged MKs to support the law, saying the security situation had worsened in recent months.
However, MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, from the Joint List, a political alliance of Arab-dominated parties, criticised the effects of the law.
She said: "My daughter fell in love with a young, white, blonde man from Holland. I don't want to think about what would have happened if she had fallen in love with a Palestinian."
"Their situation would have looked like that of almost 20,000 families, who became involved in a love story with a Palestinian Arab."
Also criticising the law's extension was MK Zehava Gal-On, the head of left-wing Zionist party Meretz, who said: "What this bill says is that every Arab citizen becomes a potential terrorist."
For his part, MK Daniel Atar (Zionist Union) decided to support the extension of the law, even though it was sponsored by the coalition. “We are dealing with a sensitive and problematic matter," said Atar, "since the emergency regulation combines within it elements that justify opposition, and yet on the other hand includes issues that require one to support the law. We must not be naive: Our aspiration is for a Jewish and democratic nation. I intend on supporting the extension if only to protect ourselves and the character of our country, and I call on the members of the opposition to also vote in favor."