Legalized Discrimination: How Israel’s “Citizenship & Entry” law harms Palestinian families by design


Legalized Discrimination: How Israel’s “Citizenship & Entry” law harms Palestinian families by design

Co-hosted with Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Listen to this event as a podcast.

featuring Member of Knesset Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash/Joint List), Dr. Morad El Sana (American University) and Dr. Hassan Jabareen (Adalah) in conversation with Lara Friedman

Please see below for Resources shared during this event. 

Last month, the Israeli Knesset passed a new version of Israel’s infamous “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law.” This law denies to Palestinian citizens of Israel a fundamental right that Israel’s Jewish citizens take for granted (and, indeed, citizens around the world hold dear): the right to make a life together with one’s chosen spouse, in the country where one hold’s citizenship. Adopted originally by the Knesset in 2003 as a “temporary” measure ostensibly for “security” reasons, the law has been repeatedly renewed for almost 20 years, most recently in March 2022. The renewed law includes explicit provisions referring to its “demographic” purpose, leading Adalah to call it “one of the most racist and discriminatory laws in the world.” In March, Israel’s Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked celebrated the law’s passage on Twitter, saying; “Jewish & Democratic State – 1; State for all its citizens – 0”. [Hebrew original here].

This webinar features Dr. Morad El Sana, who was among the first petitioners against this law when his family was directly impacted by it; Dr. Hassan Jabareen, who leads Adalah’s challenges against this law at the Israeli Supreme Court; Member of Knesset Aida Touma-Sliman, who has fought against this law since its first passage – all in conversation with FMEP’s Lara Friedman. We discuss the concrete implications of this law for Palestinian citizens and residents, as well as what the law’s renewal – and the discourse around it in Israel – discloses about contemporary Israeli political and legal dynamics and the impact of the 2018 Jewish Nation State Law. We also look at what these dynamics suggest about the future, the evolving discourse on “national security” with respect to Palestinian citizens, and the continued framing of Palestinians as a “demographic threat” to Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine. 

Resources shared in this event:  

Follow our panelists: 

Resources from Adalah: 

Ayelet Shaked’s March 10, 2022 Tweet: “Jewish & Democratic State – 1; State for all its citizens – 0” →

Some background articles & analysis: 

For more on the applicability of the Rome Statute, see this 2021 FMEP webinar, “Israel-Palestine at the International Criminal Court: What’s Next?” featuring Dr. Hassan Jabareen and other experts in international law:

Participant Bios 

Dr. Morad El Sana is a visiting professor at the American University, Washington DC., where he teaches the History of Colonialism in the Middle East, the Arabs in Israel, among other courses. From 2001-2009, he worked as a staff attorney for Adalah and then he led Adalah’s office in the Naqab. Morad and his wife were among the first petitioners in Adalah’s 2003 Supreme Court challenge against the ban on Palestinian family unification.

Dr. Hassan Jabareen is the founder and General Director of Adalah. For almost 30 years, he has litigated scores of landmark constitutional law cases regarding the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and international humanitarian law cases concerning Palestinians living in the 1967 Occupied Territory before the Israeli Supreme Court. Hassan has led Adalah’s legal teams challenging the law banning Palestinian family unification before the Israeli Supreme Court since 2003. Adalah tweets at @AdalahEnglish.

Aida Touma-Sliman has been a member of the Israeli Knesset since 2015, representing the Hadash/Jabha faction of the Joint List. Aida is the chair of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. She has beenan activist for many years, fighting to end violence against women, the Israeli occupation, and to ensure justice for the Paelestinian community within Israel. Aida has spoken out strongly over the last 20 years against the ban on Palestinian family unification and its adverse effects on Palestinian women. She tweets at @AidaTuma.

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. Lara tweets at @LaraFriedmanDC.