Israel's parliament, the Knesset, has voted on a bill which will ban non-Jewish Israeli citizens from living in Jewish-majority areas in the territory occupied in 1948 which formed the Zionist state.
Sources say that the bill in question authorises local committees to reject residence applications, discriminating against Palestinian citizens and other non-Jewish communities.
A number of Israeli academics and officials petitioned Knesset members not to ratify the proposed bill on the grounds that it contradicts the historical and moral foundation of the state. It will harm Israel's reputation, they claim, and give anti-Semites a pretext to discriminate against Jews around the world. The petition emphasises that the bill gives official sanction for discrimination against communities based on race, economic status, gender and personal status, on the pretext of their "suitability to the community's fundamental outlook" and "social suitability with regard to the community's way of life, spirit and social fabric".
However, according to David Rotem MK (Israel Beiteinu Party), the bill will reinforce the Zionist identity of Jewish-majority towns.