'Obama barred Israel from passing Nationality Law'

Senior Likud officials say Netanyahu held off on Nationality Law in the past due to Obama's opposition. Law now supported by Trump admin.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

After years of discussion and lobbying, it appears that the ‘Nationality Law’ – which codifies into Israel’s Basic Laws the country’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people and elevates Hebrew as the sole official language – will pass its final reading in the Knesset plenum before the Knesset’s summer session ends.

The bill, which was never brought to a final vote in previous Knesset sessions, had been intentionally blocked by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after coming under pressure from the Obama administration, senior Likud officials claim.

According to a report by Kan, the Obama administration worked to ensure that the Nationality Law would not be passed by the Knesset.

“The Obama administration was opposed to and worked to prevent the passage of the Nationality Law, which codifies Israel’s status as a Jewish state.”

Netanyahu, who had wanted to promote the bill, the sources claim, refrained from doing so as a result of pressure from the White House.

The Trump administration, by comparison, has not pressured Israel to block passage of the Nationality Law, enabling the Netanyahu government to advance the bill in 2017 and 2018.

The original draft of the bill included a controversial clause, known as Article 7, which would have permitted some Israeli towns to establish entrance committees able to limit the sale or rent of properties to specific sectors of the population. Following criticism from some lawmakers and President Reuven Rivlin, the clause was amended.