Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuSpokesperson

Opposition head MK Benjamin Netanyahu remains adamant: His party will vote against the Citizenship Law when it is brought before the Knesset on Monday, because, he says, the law that has been extended annually since it was first passed in 2003 is insufficient for Israel’s needs.

נתניהו: בנט ולפיד לא ישמרו על היהדותדוברות

“Bennett and Lapid are incapable of maintaining the Jewish character of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “Tomorrow, they are going to bring the Citizenship Law for a vote even though the United Arab List, Meretz, and several members of the Labor party are going to vote against it.”

Netanyahu then explained that, “In order to safeguard Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, we need to prevent the entrance of hordes of Palestinians into the country, and ensure that they are not granted citizenship. The existing law simply does not answer to that purpose, as it allows for exceptions to be made that permit Palestinians to gain entrance to Israel. The way to address this is via a Basic Law on Population which we intend to submit. Such a law will block this loophole and prevent Palestinians from entering Israel.”

The former prime minister added that, “We have been trying to pass this law for a number of years already, but we were prevented from doing so – first by Ayelet Shaked, when she was Justice Minister, and after that by Avi Nissenkorn [who succeeded her in the position]. There is no good reason why this law should be blocked. It will provide a legal barrier preventing infiltration, just as the physical barrier we constructed on the border with Egypt prevented the influx of millions of infiltrators from there.

“We suggested to the coalition that they do the right thing – extend the current law by two months, and meanwhile pass the Basic Law for Population in its preliminary reading, moving to get it approved in all three readings within the next two months,” Netanyahu added. “The coalition refuses to do so. They are insisting on keeping this flawed law – one which they are incapable of getting passed without our support, because they established a government together with the United Arab List and Meretz. They continue to expect our help in getting this inadequate law passed – not in order to solve the State of Israel’s security issues and to ensure it remains a Jewish and democratic country, but rather, to keep the coalition intact.

“This is incredible chutzpah,” Netanyahu alleged, “and they should be ashamed of themselves. This is not how a Zionist government should operate. The right way to do this is to accept our proposal and pass the Basic Law for Population tomorrow in its preliminary reading, and give Israel control over its borders.”