Media sources in Israel have revealed that members of the new coalition cobbled together by Benjamin Netanyahu are ready to insist on defining the country as the “national state for Jewish people”. According to Haaretz newspaper the two parties pushing this definition are Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu and “Jewish Home”. They have agreed to amend a law referring to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”.
The report claims that the new law would see the government committed to investing in resources for Jews inside Israel but no such commitment is given to provide for the non-Jewish citizens. So-called Israeli-Arabs make up 20 per cent of the total population in Israel.
Former minister Avi Dichter introduced a similar proposal a few years ago, when he said that Arabic should be dropped as an official language in a move that would have had a serious negative impact on Israel’s Palestinian citizens. They describe these proposals as “racist”, as they did a requirement for those with Israeli citizenship to declare their loyalty to the “Jewish state”.