Israeli Rights Groups Accuse Supreme Court of Backing Racial Segregation

The amendment grants the World Zionist Organization authority over settlement, land acquisition and development projects. (Photo: MEMO)

Israeli rights groups Wednesday accused the Israeli Supreme Court of ruling in favor of racial segregation.

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday a petition filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) demanding the cancellation of an amendment to a law that allows the Israeli government to transfer part of its land-use authorities to a private body that acts exclusively to advance the interests of Israeli Jewish citizens.

The amendment to the World Zionist Organization – Jewish Agency (Status) Law (originally approved by the Knesset in 1952), passed a Knesset vote on December 24, 2015. It grants the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) Settlement Division authority over settlement, land acquisition, and the establishment and expansion of development projects.

Adalah and ACRI issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision:

“To our dismay, the Supreme Court today decided to authorize the transfer of government authority and grant significant resources to the [World Zionist Organization] Settlement Division, a body that defines itself and its policy as operating strictly on behalf of Jewish interests. It also declares very specifically that the ideological motivations upon which its operations are based are inconsistent with the principle of equality for the Arab population.

“Adalah and ACRI express deep concern that not only will the interests of Arab citizens no longer be taken into account in areas such as housing and land zoning, but that the Supreme Court ruling grants the state a license to transfer authority to a body that implements policies of racial segregation against Arab citizens in violation of their rights to equality and human dignity.”

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

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