I keep posting about the possibility of dismantling the English-only laws that traveled across the country from 1998 through 2002 in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts. With its bitter anti-immigrant politics and fear of a Mexican planet, Arizona seems unlikely to ever undo its English-only mandate. Massachusetts is barely any better, with politicians unable to muster the will to make changes after the state department rolled out a large-scale initiative to respond to Department of Justice findings that Massachusetts failed to serve large swaths of bilingual children across the state. Now California is poised to do what Arizona and Massachusetts have not: allow the voters to undo what they did back in 1998. After some time in the making, Ed Week reports that the November 2016 ballot will include legislation that undoes the 1998 law. From the article: "[E]xperts said that the debate will be much different this time around. Voters in California are now more comfortable with having a multilingual population". We shall see.
From Professors Elinor Saiegh-Haddad and Susan Rothstein:
At the end of August 2014, a number of members of Knesset in Israel proposed a bill to make Hebrew the only official language of Israel, and thus to demote Arabic from its current status as an official language of the State. Arabic is the native language of over 20% of the population in Israel, and it has been spoken here continuously at least since the 7th century. This proposal thus has both practical consequences and symbolic significance.
The Arabic Language Academy in Israel has circulated a general petition in Hebrew protesting this proposal. We feel that it is important, in addition, that linguists and experts in language research throughout the world add their voices to the protest. The text of the petition is below. If you would like to add your name to the petition you can access it at
When we have enough signatures, we would like to publish the text of the petition (in three languages) in Ha-aretz newspaper. If you are prepared to contribute to funding such an advertisement, please send an email email@example.com . We would need 50-60 people who are prepared to contribute 100 shekels each in order to fund the advertisement. If enough people are interested in contributing, we will let you know how to send the money.
Please sign the petition with your name and affiliation.
Please forward this to as many relevant people as possible.