Nationality Law
'A Jewish state with a democratic regime'

Nationality Law changed under pressure from haredi parties to emphasize Jewish nature of state over democratic nature.

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The Knesset
The Knesset
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The new Nationality Law will define Israel as a 'Jewish State with a democratic regime' rather than as a Jewish and democratic, due to pressure from the haredi parties. The law will also include an order to preserve the state's religious heritage and the holy places according to their traditions.

The updated draft of the Nationality Law was approved by the Special Ministerial Committee for the Approval of the Nationality Law, Israel Hayom reported. The draft will now move to the Knesset plenum to be voted into law.

It was also decided that the Arabic language would maintain its status as an official language of the State of Israel. The committee decided that in order to honor the Druze community whose sons serve in the IDF, the Knesset will also pass a special law that will define the state's treatment of the Druze community separate from the Arab community.

The law begins: "The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its desire for self-determination according to its cultural and historical heritage."

The text was originally supposed to continue: "The Land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and the place of the establishment of the State of Israel." However, under pressure from the haredi parties the latter half of the sentence was removed and the words "the place of the establishment of the State of Israel" will not appear.

Another change which was made at the request of the haredi parties pertained to the section which deals with the purpose of the law. Instead of referring to the purpose of the bill as "intended to protect Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people," the phrase "nation-state of the Jewish people" was changed to "a Jewish state with a democratic regime."