Jewish Home MK: We need a Jewish state for a Jewish people

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel says Israel needs to protect its status as a Jewish state for the Jewish people.

Hezki Baruch,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) spoke about the Nationality Law, which on Sunday was approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

The Nationality Law anchors the fact that the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and states that Hebrew is the official language of the state, while the Arabic language is granted "special status". The city of Jerusalem is affirmed the capital of the State of Israel.

"This is a law proposed by MK Avi Dichter (Likud), and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) agreed to submit a government-backed proposal of the law within 60 days of its approval by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation," Ariel explained.

"Dichter's Nationality Law is a basic law and I think it is very appropriate. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) passed the law today with me in the Ministerial Committee, and I am very grateful to him for that... It's true that we will need to coordinate on the law with the various ministries, and I hope the Nationality Law will pass during the Knesset's summer session."

Regarding criticism from Israel's left, Ariel said, "I hear their screams, and I understand how right we are. We need to return Israel to its status as a sovereign Jewish country, and we need to protect Israel's status as a Jewish state for the Jewish nation."

Ariel also said Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht had tried to prevent the Ministerial Committee from voting on the law, claiming that a basic law such as the Nationality Law cannot pass if it is privately endorsed.

"The Nationality Law is crucial to ensuring the State of Israel retains its character as a Jewish State," Ariel said. "Political sources are trying to prevent the approval of the Nationality Law. They will not succeed. As the public's chosen government, we will continue to push the law forward until it passes and becomes law."

Regarding the recent passing of Rabbi Benny Elon, Ariel said, "Rabbi Benny Elon was my teacher and rabbi. I learned many things from him, both in politics and in determination. Rabbi Elon was a minister who left the government twice - and this is also an important lesson for us."

"Rabbi Elon worked to strengthen Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem, as well as in Judea and Samaria. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his diligence and understanding of the importance of Jerusalem's Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood.

"May his memory be blessed."