Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shakedצילום: יונתן זינדל, פלאש 90

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) dismissed threats by the Meretz party, after the far-left faction vowed political reprisals after the Citizenship Law passed its first reading in the Knesset this week.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva Wednesday morning, Shaked expressed satisfaction with the Knesset vote on Monday, and her cooperation with Opposition MKs to draft and gain support in the Knesset for the bill.

“I decided that I won’t give up on this, and I am happy that I managed to create a dialogue with MKs Simcha Rothman and Avi Dichter in recent months in order to pass this important law.”

The bill, an amendment to Israel’s Citizenship Law, was drafted by MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party) after Shaked’s own version failed to pass its Knesset vote last year, with Opposition MKs joining left-wing and Arab MKs in the coalition to block the bill.

Monday’s vote passed with 72 MKs in favor and 32 opposed.

If passed into law, the bill would extend the 2003 version of the Citizenship Law, which expired last year. The 2003 amendment allows the Interior Ministry to deny family reunification requests from residents of the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip, based on security concerns.

Rothman’s version of the bill adds in several new modifications to the law, designed to offer greater transparency.

Shaked downplayed threats by the Meretz party, a coalition partner, to extract a political ‘price’ in reprisal for the Citizenship Law’s passage.

“Meretz needs to be reminded that the minority cannot force its opinion on the majority.”

Following the vote Monday on the Citizenship Law, MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) called the bill “racist”.

“We will not vote for a racist law and we will not vote for a vote of no confidence in the government,” Raz said, explaining his party’s decision to abstain, after an Opposition MK turned the reading into a vote of no confidence against the government.