Inside Story

What’s behind Israel’s ‘nation-state’ bill?

Israel’s Knesset is considering a bill that could legally define the country as a ‘Jewish nation-state’.

Israel’s right-wing government is fast-tracking a bill that would define the country as a ‘nation-state’ for the Jewish people.

It was first introduced some years back but had faced strong opposition. 

If passed, it will promote Jewish communities that strictly enforce rules to exclude Israel’s nearly two million Palestinian citizens.

It would also demote the status of Arabic so that it would no longer be an official language alongside Hebrew. 

The focus of the bill remains on immigration by Jews from abroad rather than protecting the rights of Palestinian citizens.

But where does that leave Israel’s millions of Palestinians citizens? What will be the regional fallout? 

Presenter: Adrian Finighan 


Yossi Beilin – Former Israeli minister of justice

Mukhaimar Abu Sada – Professor of political science at Al-Azhar University, Gaza 

Nader Hashemi – Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver