On July 6, Sami Abou Shahadeh, the Joint List MK, tweeted: “The racist amendment against Palestinian family reunification expired!”
At midnight, the ban against family reunification ended after the Government failed to pass an extension of the temporary law in the Knesset. Most opponents were from the Israeli Right who sought a more permanent ban on family reunification.
The ‘temporary’ ban, which had been in place since 2003, and which affects tens of thousands of families, had been openly criticized by Human Rights Watch (HRW) for being racist. Yair Lapid, the Israeli foreign minister, made this clear on July 5, when he tweeted: “[There’s] no need to hide from the purpose of the [citizenship] law, it’s one of the tools meant to secure a Jewish majority in Israel. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and our goal is that it will have a Jewish majority.” Here the ‘Liberal’ Lapid makes it clear that the Jewish state will persist in its efforts to achieve “maximum Jews, minimum Palestinians”.
Ofir observes that the ban only expired because of a political dispute between the Government and Opposition. He asserts that “the law did not expire because Israel stopped being an Apartheid state, and the political reason for the failure to extend the law was not anti-racist”.
Indeed, he suggests that it is likely that the Government will respond by seeking to pass another racist law.