Clamor in the Knesset:
'Is Rivlin the president - or a politician?'

Amid president's criticism of clause allowing for Jewish-only communities, special committee convenes over Nationality Law.

Hezki Baruch,

Hearing on Nationality Law
Hearing on Nationality Law

A special committee debated the Nationalism Law Tuesday, as part of preparations for second and third readings of the bill in the Knesset next week.

This morning's debate was held against the backdrop of harsh criticism voiced by President Reuven Rivlin against the clause in the law that allows the establishment of Jewish-only communities.

MK Betzalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home said during the discussion that "The president's purism stems either from blindness or great moral confusion about Zionism.

"When entire cities and towns in the Galilee are being conquered by the Arabs for blatantly nationalist reasons and the Zionist vision of Judaizing the Galilee is in danger - the possibility of preserving Jewish settlement is the saving of the Zionist vision. It is not discrimination and not anything else, but the saving of the Zionist vision," Smotrich stressed.

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) was removed from the discussion by committee chairman MK Amir Ohana (Likud). As she left, she said that "This is a racist government."

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said, "I suggest to MK Ohana that he apologize for saying that he does not know who wrote the letter, Reuven Rivlin the president or Reuven Rivlin the politician. I am not surprised that the president chose this law specifically for the unusual step of sending a letter to Knesset members " he said.

The deputy attorney general, Raz Nizri, joined the criticism of the clause in the Nationalism Law that would allow the establishment of communities for Jews only, and called for its removal from the law. "We see a very serious legal problem in the section," he said. “It stands out in its irregularity. It permits personal discrimination against a citizen only because of his national affiliation. I say to the supporters of the law: You are tarnishing this Nationalism Law in vain. "