On Wednesday, the Knesset rejected the proposed Basic Law "A democratic, multicultural, and egalitarian state" submitted by MK Yusef Jabareen (Joint List), which defines the state as "the common state of all its citizens, and all its institutions and resources will serve all citizens fully and equally."
During the presentation of the law, Jabarin mentioned the partition plan to establish two states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. His remarks sparked a furor and right-wing MKs reminded him that while the Jews accepted the proposal, the Arabs launched a war to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state.
Jabareen also sought to define Israel as a "democratic, multicultural, and egalitarian" state without preference for a particular nationality or religion. These remarks were also made by left-wing Knesset members, including Tzipi Livni, who wondered how things fit in with the partition proposal he wanted to act on.
Jabareen replied that the definition of the State of Israel as a Jewish state is because it has a Jewish majority and not because it has a special status for Judaism or the Jews.
After his speech, which was repeatedly interrupted by right-wing MKs, Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded on behalf of the government.
Bennett accused the Arab Knesset members of hypocrisy and said, "There is no morning when you do not stand up and say, 'Blessed is he who made me an Israeli.' Give me one place in the world that you would rather be than in the Jewish state."
At this stage, MK Aida Touma Suleiman (Joint List) demonstratively got up and left the room. Bennett said: "Run away, because you know the truth. You are proud and happy to be in the Jewish and democratic state - and there is no other country in the world that you would choose. What hypocrisy."
Bennett went on to say that "those who are causing the greatest damage to the future of the Arabs of the State of Israel are the Arab Knesset members. Instead of worrying about education, you go to the plays and go to Apartheid conferences. If you had a tenth of the concern that I have for students from the Arab sector, or a tenth of the concern Ayelet Shaked has for setting up courts in Arab cities, it would suffice."
"In your heart, every one of you knows the truth, that the more Jewish the State of Israel is, the more democratic it is. It is the only democracy in the Middle East, not despite, but because it is the nation-state of the Jewish people."