The Land of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People will be given judicial
priority if a bill proposed by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) on
Monday becomes law.
The bill faced criticism from opposition MKs, who
called it undemocratic, denying non- Jewish citizens equal rights, and will lead
to the annexation of the West Bank.
The bill – under the name Basic Law:
Israel as the Nation- State of the Jewish People – emphasizes the Jewish
character of the country and seeks to anchor its democratic government in a law
with constitutional status.
“This is a Jewish state that’s a democracy,
not a democracy with some Jewish elements,” Levin said. “We need to strengthen
these principles, and give them legal priority.”
The legislation also
calls the Land of Israel “the historic homeland of the Jewish People and the
place in which the State of Israel was established,” and calls for Jewish law
and tradition to inspire legislators in proposing laws and judges in making
Levin explained that currently, legal precedent gives equality
priority over “Judaizing the land,” as he called it, but his bill would ensure
that the Jewish nature of the Land of Israel comes first.
the bill, which is similar to a bill proposed by then-Kadima MK Avi Dichter in
the previous Knesset, names Hebrew as the official language of Israel, but
allows for other languages’ status to be determined in future
According to Levin, “this bill emphasizes the traditional
and historic connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and our
national rights to the land, as expressed in the [Declaration of] Independence
“The righteousness of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel is
based on diplomatic, national and historic aspects and comes from the Jewish
People’s right to self-determination,” he added.
MK Avishay Braverman
(Labor) called the bill a disaster.
“When [prime minister] David
Ben-Gurion founded the country, it was based on two principles – a Jewish and
democratic state,” Braverman told Army Radio. “What is happening here is the
annexation of Judea and Samaria and the deterioration of democracy.”
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