The Israeli parliament has rejected a draft bill affirming citizens' right to equality. According to a report by Israeli activist Yossi Gurvitz for Mondoweiss, the Knesset voted down the bill by 71-38.
'Basic Law': Equality', drafted by Meretz MK Mossi Raz, stated: "The State of Israel shall maintain equal political rights amongst all its citizens, without any difference between religions, race and sex."
In the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition – which has only 61 seats in the Knesset – "enjoyed the support" of opposition party Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid.
In addition, Gurvitz reported, "many members" of the Labor Party-dominated Zionist Camp faction "fled the hall before the vote".
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As related by Gurvitz, "Israeli law never recognised equality between citizens".
"An attempt to enter an equality clause to the Human Dignity and Freedom Basic Law, back in 1992, failed – mostly due to the opposition of the religious parties", he added.
According to Gurvitz, the rejection of the bill will be a blow to Druze Israelis, who were promised by Netanyahu "he'd grant them an exemption" to the discriminatory Jewish Nation-State law.
"Those 71 votes represent the hard core of practical Zionism – Zionism as it is, not as it may be," Gurvitz wrote, "who decided Israel would be a Jewish country and not a democratic one."