Israeli ministers soften 'Jewish state bill'

Softened version of a controversial “Jewish State bill” has been submitted to Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation to be debated

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A softened version of a controversial “Jewish State bill” has been submitted to the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation to be debated, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

An amended version of the bill was submitted on Sunday by Likud Party deputy Benny Begin for debate in the ministerial committee.

The amended version of the bill, similar in spirit to its predecessor, presents a diluted version of the legislation’s more controversial reforms. It focuses on Israel’s democratic nature

Israeli Radio said that if the committee approves the bill, it will be submitted to the Israeli parliament, also known as the Knesset.

The bill states that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people and that the state will uphold equal rights for all of its citizens on the foundations of Liberty, justice,and peace in the light of the vision of the prophets of Israel.

Usame es-Sadi, an Arabic deputy in the Knesset, told Anadolu Agency that the approval of the bill was not unexpected given the presence of a rightist Israeli government which he says is bent upon approving racist laws against Arabs.

"As Arabs, we will prevent these laws which make Jews claim rights on everything and make Arabs a minority," es-Sadi said.

Israel’s ministerial committee for legislation was supposed to vote on Sunday on a proposed law that would allow Palestinians convicted by Israeli courts of committing murder “on an ethnic basis” to be executed.

The Likud party decided not to put forward the law for a vote after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud’s leader, announced his objection to the law after a meeting with Likud ministers.  

As a compromise with Likud hardliners, Netanyahu announced he would form an advisory panel to debate the controversial issue.

Over 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to official Palestinian figures.

TRTWorld and agencies