Abolition of Arabic as an Official Language in Israel

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is looking at a draft bill, which proposes the abolition of Arabic as an official language in the Zionist state. This would require the repeal of British Mandatory legislation in Palestine dating from 1922, which adopted Arabic, Hebrew and English as official languages. When the state of Israel was created through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, the Zionists ditched English as an official medium of communication.

The proposed law is one of a number of initiatives designed to undermine the status of Arabic, which is the mother-tongue of more than 1.25 million Palestinian citizens of the state, one-fifth of the population. A draft constitution, for example, supported by a number of Israeli institutions, also proposes the removal of Arabic’s official status.

Human rights specialist Dr. Yousef Jabareen, the head of the Arab Centre of Rights Studies in Nazareth, said that this bill is racist in nature and intent. It is, he claims, part of a series of racist and extremist laws which have indicated Israel’s parliamentary and government obsession in recent years. He cited the law of allegiance to the Jewish and Zionist state and the law to prevent the commemoration of the Nakba as just two which strike at the heart of the status and identity of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel.

Dr. Jabareen said that the country’s official language is derived from the authenticity of the Palestinians’ claim that they are the original owners of the land, the implications of which gives them collective national rights under international laws and conventions. At the core of these is their right to preserve their language and their national identity and develop it freely.

“In fact, not only has the ruling establishment not respected the official Arabic language, but it has also sought to cover it up and distort it, like other elements of the national and collective identity of Palestinians,” said Dr. Jabareen. “Our national memory and narrative of events has also been attacked.” Nevertheless, he added, the establishment has not yet dared to abolish it formally, in order to avoid international criticism. Dr. Jabareen stressed, “The Palestinian public preservation of their language, in Israel, Arabic, is due to a long and stubborn process of struggle, despite the policies of the state.”

Jabareen, who teaches law at the University of Haifa, pointed out that voting on this bill in the Knesset will be done after the International Mother Language Day. “Organisations such as UNESCO and the European Union should take a clear position against this racist bill and other Israeli measures affecting the collective and historical rights of Palestinian citizens with regards to their identity, language and culture, monuments and holy sites,” he insisted.

Source: Al Quds Al Arabi

 

24 February 2011

Advertisements

4 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks. We share it.

    Reply

  2. ETHNIC CLEANSING ISRAEL: EVERYTHING IS PLANNED
    Since 2001, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of Israel’s far right party, Avigdor Lieberman, proposes to establish four townships in the occupied West Bank, hermetically sealed, which would be grouped the Palestinians. He sees it as a solution for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are more than one million, to move the vast majority of the group in tightly closed, self-administered areas.
    Thus would arise a State ethnically homogeneous from the Mediterranean Sea until the Jordan, sheltering in its midst Palestinian “Bantustans”.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: