07:42 GMT +323 October 2019
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    'We Respect the Minority and Arabic Language in Israel' – Israeli Politician

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    The Israeli Parliament has passed a constitutional law declaring Israel a nation-state and stipulating that only Jews have the right to self-determination. Radio Sputnik discussed the new law with Oren Hazan, an Israeli politician from the Likud party.

    Sputnik: What is your take on the new law passed in Israel?

    Oren Hazan: Seventy years ago we declared our independence. Seventy years ago, by supporting the whole world, everybody understood that the state of Israel and the land of Israel belonged to the Jewish people. This statement slowly disappeared … and suddenly after seventy years finally we co-acted and we put it on the law that Israel, the land of Israel and the state of Israel belongs, always did and always will, to the Jewish nation. 

    Sputnik: Some Israeli politicians have expressed concern that the founding principles of Israel were under threat and could become less relevant in the future. How justified are these concerns?

    Oren Hazan: I don’t agree with this. They use this just to try to break us, break the government, break the people that chose the majority in Israel. The people need to understand that the majority of Jewish people in Israel have rights too. 

    The rights don’t only belong to the minority. We did it right now. We don’t […fail track] from those people they talk about this around the world. We walk in our way, we continue in the way of our founder fathers. They have been here seventy years ago, exactly seventy years ago and that’s what we do, we only keep what belongs to us. 

    We say the obvious because some people see that the obvious is not obvious anymore. Those that try to say that maybe we don’t want to respect the minority in Israel, maybe we don’t want to respect Arabs, that is only fake news, they lie, because Israel was and always will be a state that lives in equality, that gives every human being in Israel equal rights. But you need to understand that at the end of the day the state of Israel and the land of Israel belongs and is a safe house for Jewish people all over the world. If someone wants to live here with us, they are more than welcome, but if you want to live here instead of us, we will never agree to this.

    READ MORE: Israel Passes Controversial Jewish Nation-State Bill & Trump Visits NATO

    Sputnik: Can you comment on the change in the status of the Arabic language? 

    Oren Hazan: This is one of the biggest lies that people are trying to tell the world right now. The Arabic language, nobody is touching it. The same status that it had before this law is exactly the same status that it has right now. This is not the official language of Israel, as at the end of the day this is a Jewish nation that belongs to the Jewish people and our official language is Hebrew, it was always like this. 

    It’s a language with a special status, we respect it. We use it all over. You can speak inside our Parliament in Arabic, for example. You cannot stand on the podium in our Parliament and speak in English, Russian or Japanese, but you can speak in Arabic because it has a special status. But still it’s not the official language, what can we do. People need to respect it. 

    It’s exactly as if, for example, you go to Russia or the United States. Let’s take the US, for example. You have a lot of people that come from South America that speak Spanish. Nobody expects the United States to make the Spanish language as the official language. 

    The same is with us; the Hebrew language escorts us for many years. This is our official language. It was exactly the same before this law. At the same time, I, as a member of the Knesset, for the last three years, because I love the Arabic language, because I think we need to give her respect and because people don’t understand; most of our people in Israel, the roots of our families, come from Arab countries. My father and mother, my grandmother, the mother language that they had was Arabic, so I right now for the last three years have been working on a law that people will study Arabic in Jewish schools in Israel. 

    I am happy that PM Netanyahu supports this law. We have been working for the past three years on this law, trying to find the right way to do and I hope so that before this Knesset will go to election, and in the same time that we did the law that declared our nationality, we will do the law that we will inform people to learn Arabic from the first grade because we love the Arabic language; we don’t have a problem with it, so don’t let anybody to lie to you and to lie to others. No one has touched the status of Arabic language, we respect the Arabic language […]

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    Sputnik: The EU has criticized the new law, raising concerns that it could complicate Israeli-Palestinian issues. What is your take on the concerns and how could it impact Israeli-Palestinian relations and the conflict?

    Oren Hazan: Look this is something funny, as those that call themselves Palestinian, because if we look at the history there was never a Palestinian nation. Let’s take it like this, those Arabs who call themselves Palestinians want to open a Palestinian state in Israel. 

    The Arab members of the Knesset said in the future there will be two states in Israel, one Palestinian and another state that belongs to all […]. They don’t allow the Jews to get what is right: a declaration of our nationality. They don’t believe in it. I don’t think that this law will change the relations between us and Palestinians. 

    People need to understand that maybe there will be others who will use it as an excuse. At the end of the day, those Arabs that call themselves Palestinians, those Arabs that support organizations like Hamas, like Hezbollah, those Arabs almost every day take themselves and go out and do terrors attack. Here in Israel they slaughter people, slaughter innocent Jews just because they are Jewish – they hate us. As long as we keep saying the truth that they only hate us, the rest will be only excuses.

    The views and opinions expressed by Oren Hazan are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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