Photo Credit: Flash 90
Bayit Yehudi Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

The Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction will resolutely oppose any attempt by Kulanu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to make any changes in the Nationality Law, Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation reported Sunday. The report follows Kahlon’s statement on Thursday, which claimed that the legislation had been enacted hastily and that Kahlon would act to amend it.

The heads of Habayit Hayehudi, Ministers Bennett and Shaked, made it clear in closed conversations that they would not allowfor any amendment to the Nationality Law under any circumstance and regarding item.

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Without the support of the Habayit Hayehudi MKs, the law cannot be amended.

Senior members of the Likud Knesset faction also made it clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu had sent a similar message to Kahlon during their meeting last week with the Druze MKs, saying he would not agree to any change in the Nationality Law.

Meanwhile, Arab MK Issawi Frej (Meretz) told Reshet Bet radio “The Nationality Law is a formative event. Arabs come and say: we want to be part of Israeli society. We are told that we are mercenaries, that we are guests. I expect there will be dramatic developments.”

The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, enacted July 19 by a majority of 62 to 55 with 2 abstaining, introduces very few actual changes in terms of the fundamentals of the Jewish State; the resentment it has raised results from the fact that it integrate a large number of existing laws and regulations into a constitutional tapestry.

One of the few actual changes is the section of the law which defines Hebrew as the sole official language of the State, downgrading Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.”

The other two sections incorporate existing laws: the Ingathering of the Exiles section declares that the State “will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of Jewish exiles,” while Palestinian exiles shall not be allowed to return, even if they are from the region; and the Jewish Settlement section declares that the State views the development of Jewish settlements as a national value and shall act to encourage and promote the establishment and consolidation of such settlements.

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