U.S. Expects Israel to 'Stick to Democracy'

Responding to the controversial Jewish State Law, State Department spokesman says Israel should "stick to its democratic principles".

Elad Benari ,

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama
Flash 90

The controversial Jewish State Law on Monday elicited a response from Washington.

Jeff Rathke, a spokesman for the State Department, did not condemn or denounce the law, but did say that "Israel is a Jewish and democratic state and all its citizens should enjoy equal rights. We expect Israel to stick to its democratic principles."

Earlier on Monday, the coalition decided to postpone by a week the Knesset plenum vote on two versions of the Jewish State bill, one of which was proposed by MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), and the other by MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu).

The decision to defer the vote was reached after requests by Ilatov and Shaked.

The bill on Sunday passed a crucial cabinet vote, with 15 votes for and six against.

The debate at the cabinet saw right-wing proponents of the bill face off against mostly left-wing opponents in what was at times an angry exchange.

The differences over the bill, which Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni have vowed to vote against in its current format, have brought to the surface the  many problems in the coalition and have resulted in speculation that elections are imminent.