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Abstract

This article aims to examine whether the passing of the Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People represents a transformative moment in the history of the State of Israel, as some critics claim, that undermines the State's unique democratic features precisely the principle of equality. In this respect, this paper aims to revisit the principle of equality as it is enshrined in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel and as it applies in practice, law and court rulings. Specifically, the article will explore how the principle of equality come to manifest itself in the relationship between the State and the Palestinian citizens in three key moments; first, a pre-State stage, in the making of the Declaration; second, a post establishment stage, in the granting of suffrage and citizenship rights; and third, in the aftermath of the 1992 'constitutional revolution' with the passage of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. The article argues that the Nationality Bill does not represent a transformative moment, it rather reflects a continuous process that stems from the Zionist colonial ideology in historic Palestine. Therefore, rather than transforming Israel into an undemocratic apartheid State as some critics argue, the Nationality Bill rather makes sure that the State of Israel cannot be easily transformed into the State of all its citizens.

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