Friday, March 09, 2012

Israel Bans Palestinians From Living With Spouses

"Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are forbidden. Marriages concluded in defiance of this law are void, even if, for the purpose of evading this law, they were concluded abroad." - Nuremburg Laws, September 15 1935, Germany
In the United States by the late 1960s all laws banning people from living together based on race were repealed; today in Israel laws banning people from living together based on nationality have only been strengthened.

On January 11 of this year the highest court in Israel upheld anti-miscegnation laws that banned married Israelis and palestinians from living together. Arguing that Arabs would flood the country, it was ultimately decided that the safety and security of the nation trumped basic human rights and the High Court of Justice in a 6-5 decision upheld the controversial 2003 Citizenship and Entry Into Israel Law.

The summary of the ruling highlights the balancing of human rights and the security of Israel, within the document it's clear the High Court acknowledges the existence of such rights, but also acknowledges the court's ability to overrule them with a limitiation clause. As for that balance however it remains dubious that Arabs living with their Israeli spouses posed such a threat as to warrant the violation of basic human rights.

Such doubts are only strengthened when one considers the amount of anti-miscegnation, or opposition to relationships between Jews and non-Jews from Israeli governments.

Many organizations have opposed the Israeli High Court ruling, and many others have opposed the legislation from the beginning. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the UN have all declared the laws discriminatory and racist; an Israeli newspaper has even suggested the legislation created an apartheid state.

Using security as a justification for overruling rights is as old as society, from Ancient Rome to modern America. The problem is determining when is it wrong and when is it right; or in this case, how big does the wrong have to be until it's not seen as right?

In regards to the Nuremburg laws, it took radical escalation and a war.

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