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      Proposed Law to Designate Israel as Jewish State

      After 65 years, the Knesset will consider a law to officially designation Israel as a Jewish State. Three parties teamed up on the bill.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 6/26/2013, 9:54 AM

      Theodor Herzl portrait and flag
      Theodor Herzl portrait and flag
      Ben Bresky

      After 65 years, the Knesset is finally considering a law to officially designate Israel as a Jewish State. Three different political parties are involved in submitting the bill.

      The new “ Israel, the Jewish National State” bill, as it is being called, is the product of a cooperative effort by MK Ayelet Shaked of HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home), Yariv Levin and Robert Ilatov of Likud Beytenu, and Ruth Calderon from Yesh Atid. 

      “Our Declaration of Independence defines the State of Israel as a democratic national home for the Jewish nation, the fulfillment of the words of the Prophets,” explained the lawmakers.

      “It also mentions the Balfour Declaration from 1917 along these guidelines, and the proposal aims to provide a Constitutional announcement verifying these principles.”

      However, no reference is made to Judaism as a religion, Calderon underlined, but rather to the Jewish People.

      “The Declaration of Independence explicitly states that Israel is envisaged as a Jewish State that is also committed to equal rights.

      Nevertheless, Israeli Arab MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash) condemned the bill, saying that laws are not needed to protect the nation’s majority, but rather the needs of the minority “when racism rages. The Knesset has become a racist legislation machine,” he said.

      Numerous other Israeli Arab citizens also expressed disappointment at the submission of the bill as well, saying they feel disenfranchised by the sentiment.

      One Bedouin Arab told Arutz Sheva in the northern Negev on Wednesday morning, “I’m just starting to wonder what role we are expected to play in a Jewish nation.”