Israel citizenship ruling slammed as ‘racist’ | Pakistan Today

Israel citizenship ruling slammed as ‘racist’

Israeli rights groups and MPs on Thursday denounced a court ruling upholding a law that prevents Palestinians married to Arab Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship or residency. By contrast, the ruling was welcomed by Israeli rightwingers.
“It is a dark day for the protection of human rights and for the Israeli Supreme Court,” attorneys Dan Yakir and Oded Feller from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a statement.
ACRI was one of three rights groups that had appealed to the Supreme Court over a law preventing the Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens from obtaining either Israeli citizenship or residency.
At present, Palestinian men over 35 and women over 25 married to Israeli citizens can only obtain short-term permits to be in Israel.
They have limited permission to work, but the permits must be regularly reviewed and they get no social benefits.
The petitioners said the law violated the right of Palestinians married to Arab Israelis to a family life, but in a late-night ruling, the Supreme Court said human rights could not override security concerns.
Six judges backed the controversial law, while five were opposed.
“Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide,” wrote Justice Asher Grunis, who is poised to become the next Supreme Court president. Yakir and Feller accused the court of stamping “its approval on a racist law, one that will harm the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins.”
In July 2003, parliament adopted a law limiting the right of non-nationals to residency in the Jewish state, blocking citizenship for Palestinians married to Arab Israelis.
Initially applicable for one year, the law was extended for security reasons but has been challenged by rights groups on more than one occasion.

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