The Knesset Presidium rejected a proposal by Joint List MKs to re-define the State of Israel as “state of all its citizens,” replacing the current definition as the state of the Jewish people.
The Presidium, composed by the speaker and deputy speakers of the Knesset, is responsible for approving the tabling of private Members’ bills, ruled that the Basic Law: Israel is a State of All Its Citizens, authored by Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Juma Azbarga would not be tabled for debate.
Knesset Legal Advisor Eyal Inon said the proposal “sought to deny the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.”
“The proposal includes a series of articles designed to change the character of the State of Israel from the nation-state of the Jewish people to a state in which there is equal national standing for the Jewish nation and the Arab nation, ” he told the Knesset presidium before the vote.
Yinon also added that the bill ostensibly sought to change fundamental components of the State of Israel, including abolishing of the law of return, which affords Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and to gain Israeli citizenship, negating the symbols of the State of Israel that reflect the national revival of the Jewish people as well as the removing the status of the Hebrew language as the national language.
“A proposal aimed at eroding the foundations on which the State of Israel is built must not be tabled for discussion in the Knesset,” said parliament Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. “ This is the first time I recommended that the presidium disqualify a bill.”
By: TPS Staff