Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Knesset blocks bill defining Israel as ‘country of all citizens’

Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a Knesset session [Prime Minister of Israel/Flickr]
Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a Knesset session [Prime Minister of Israel/Flickr]

A bill calling for Israel to be defined as a state of all its citizens was stopped before it reached the Knesset for discussion yesterday.

Submitted by three Joint List Members of the Knesset, the Basic Law: A Country of All Its Citizens stood contrary to efforts to define Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” thus denied equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens.

Haaretz reported Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon “said that the legislation seemed to be aimed at altering basic principles – for example, by essentially cancelling the Law of Return (which declares the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel), and determining instead that receipt of Israeli citizenship will be based on a person’s familial affiliation to another citizen of the state.”

This is the first time proposed legislation has been thrown out before being discussed in the last two Knesset terms.

Arab MKs Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Joumah Azbarga had submitted the draft bill.

Read: Israel bill to compensate ‘terror victims’ using Palestinian money passed by Knesset

Categories
IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
Register your free ticket to the MEMO Conference - Oslo at 25 - Middle East Peace