Amid coalition crisis, committee pushes ‘Jewish state bill’ forward


March 13, 2018
Arthur Goodman
Facing threat of early elections, lawmakers work to bring compromise wording of controversial legislation to Knesset plenum for first reading

Israeli Knesset

Times of Israel staff write, “Amid a coalition crisis that threatens to take the country to early elections, a special Knesset committee on Tuesday advanced a long-frozen controversial bill that would enshrine Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people” and sent it to its first Knesset reading. A joint meeting of the House Committee and the Constitution Committee chaired by Likud’s Amir Ohana agreed to a compromise of  the Jewish State bill. The legislation, for the first time in Israeli law, would enshrine Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people.” If passed, the law would become one of the so-called Basic Laws, which like a constitution guide Israel’s legal system and are more difficult to repeal than regular laws. The bill, first proposed in 2014, has been mired in controversy, with critics branding it as racist. Voting on the bill had been delayed repeatedly as coalition partners rejected it. (read more)

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