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Draft Knesset bill to drop Arabic as official Israeli language

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Lawmakers in Israel have submitted a bill to parliament [the Knesset] which, if passed, will see Arabic dropped as an official language of Israel. The bill also states that Jewish law will be a source of inspiration to the legislature and the courts.

On Thursday, August 4, Haaretz newspaper reported that the bill calls for Arabic to be officially dropped making Hebrew the only official language of the state. Presently, Arabic and English are both also recognized as official Israeli languages.

Haaretz added that the bill also contains a clause which states that “Jewish law will be a source of inspiration to the legislature and the courts”. This means that “MKs would be asked to legislate in the spirit of Jewish law, and courts to adjudicate by it in cases where no other express law exists.”

The bill has the support of both the ruling coalition and the opposition parties. The draft bill was signed by 20 MKs from the Kadima opposition bloc in addition to MKs from Labour, Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu.
According to Haaretz, “Sources at the Knesset say the law currently has broad support, and they believe it will be passed during the Knesset’s winter session.”