Israeli Knesset yesterday rejected an amend to the racist Nation-State Law to include a clause guaranteeing the equality of all citizens, Arab48 reported.
The bill, which was proposed by the Yesh Atid-Telem party, saw the Blue and White alliance abstain from the vote. Blue and White had promised, during the election campaign, to amend the Nation-State Law to include equality for all citizens.
The Nation-State Law declared Israel to be the “historical homeland of the Jewish people” and dropped Arabic as an official language of Israel.
The bill was defeated by 53 votes to 21.
“The Nation-State Law is the ID card of the State of Israel and will be the opening chapter of a future constitution, but it ignores a quarter of the citizens in the state, including me,” said Yesh Atid-Telem MK Gadeer Mreeh, who is from the Druze community, and advanced the bill.
“This is not ethical and is not democratic,” she declared.
Arab members of the Knesset who form the Joint List party abstained from voting and said they opposed the bill and would not vote on an amendment to it, adding the Nation-State Law should be cancelled and not changed.
In a statement, the Joint List said: “The bill proposes very few amendments that do not deal with its racist essence which denies the existence of the Palestinians and the Arab minority in Israel.”
“The amendments practically reiterate Israel’s annexation of the occupied East Jerusalem, as well as the inferiority of the Arabs and their language.”
The vote, they continued, “exposes the racist incentives” of the coalition government which opposes equality for Arab citizens in Israel.