Israel has passed a widely-condemned law that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and gives Jews the sole right to self-determination. It also declares Hebrew the country’s only official language and encourages the building of Jewish-only settlements on occupied territory as a “national value.” The law has drawn international condemnation and accusations that Israel has legalized apartheid. For more we speak with world-renowned political dissident, author, and linguist Noam Chomsky. He is a laureate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than 50 years.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about Israel right now. Israel’s passage of the new law that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and gives them the sole right to self-determination. The law also declares Hebrew the country’s only official language and encourages the building of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territory as a national value. This is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel. We will keep ensuring civil rights in Israel’s democracy. These rights will not be harmed. But the majority also has rights and the majority decides. An absolute majority wants to ensure our state’s Jewish character for generations to come.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this new law, Noam Chomsky?
NOAM CHOMSKY: First of all, a slight correction: the all-Jewish settlements that are authorized are within Israel proper. It’s not even a question on the Occupied Territories. They’re all like that. But this is within Israel proper.
So, yes, the new law does change the existing situation, but not by as much as is being claimed. What the…