Hundreds of Israeli Arabs have replaced their Facebook profile pictures with a stamp that says "second class citizen" in response to the proposed bill defining Israel as “the nation state of the Jewish people”.
It is feared that the new policy would effectively make the country's Arab minority inferior to Jews in the eyes of the law because it would not even accord them the “equality of social and political rights” found in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
The Facebook protest was launched by graphic designer Sana Jamalia who made the pictures look like official government passport stamps and initially sent them out to friends before they gathered in popularity.
"Many [people] asked me if we expect some response from the state, but we are really just laughing about it," she told Haaretz.
What’s new here? We were never first–class citizens. At least now you have said it out loud. I prefer that they tell us directly and not pretend we live in a democratic country...[where] they are self righteous and say there are equal rights.
- Sana Jamalia
Hanin Majadli, a student from Tel-Aviv who has also changed her Facebook profile (see above), told the paper that while she does not hold high hopes for the campaign she is glad it has been started.
“The Arab public in Israel has no partner. I think that most of the support we are receiving is from overseas. There is support from the Israeli left, which is also a minority and sometimes is also afraid," she told Haaretz.
"I don’t think this Facebook campaign will lead to the cancellation of the nation– state law. But we need to put it on the table, to raise awareness."