A test of democracy

Israel believes all citizens are created equal, except those pesky Palestinians:

“The rise of the Hamas to power in the administered territories makes a law prohibiting Palestinian men aged 18 to 35 and Palestinian women aged 18 to 25 from obtaining Israeli citizenship by marrying an Israeli spouse all the more necessary, the state’s representative, Attorney Yochi Gnessin, told the High Court of Justice on Tuesday.

“‘We are entering a new era,’ she said in arguing against a petition submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, Meretz, Moked in Defense of the Individual and several Israeli-Palestinian couples.

“The law, which was passed on July 27, 2005, lifted a total freeze on all naturalization procedures for Palestinians married to Israelis, but prohibited Palestinian men under 35 years of age, and Palestinian women under the age of 25, from living in Israel or beginning the process of obtaining Israeli citizenship or residency status, with all of the benefits entailed.”

State-sanctioned discrimination was the cornerstone of apartheid South Africa and Israel continues to emulate its former, close ally.