Esawi Frej
Esawi FrejHezki Baruch

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej (Meretz) explained on Thursday why his party is strongly opposed to the Citizenship Law.

Speaking on Radio 103FM before the Knesset approved the law in its second and third readings, Frej said, "Every party has an asset. If you give up the asset for which you exist then you have no right to exist. Meretz, at its foundations, is a human rights party. Once you seriously harm that element then you are harming yourself in a way that causes irreversible damage. Meretz cannot lend a hand to allow this law to pass. I have no doubt that we cannot vote in favor."

"Meretz will not vote for this law even if there is a vote of no confidence. At most we will not take part in the vote. The government will not disband today," he added.

"This is a law that I am very sorry has a majority in the Israeli Jewish mainstream. But I, as a cabinet member and minister in the government that represents the good and the bad in it, will leverage the good and I will fight against the bad. This law does not benefit the state and it should not exist. A normal, democratic and moral state must not have people without a status residing in it," said Frej.

Asked what will happen if the Citizenship Law does pass, Frej made it clear that it would be a blatant violation of the rules of the game.

"There are agreements that need to be respected, legislation must not be passed through opposition. It will upset the thin, delicate and existing balance in the coalition, I do not want to get there. If the law passes, it means we continue to be part of the government but our conduct in future legislation will be using considerations that will sometimes be inconvenient for some components."