Knesset rejects 'declaration of loyalty' bill

By SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL
October 18, 2006 19:42

The Knesset on Wednesday rejected by overwhelming majority a bill that would require Israelis to sign a declaration of loyalty to the State before they were allowed to vote. The bill was proposed by MK Zvi Hendel (NU-NRP) and was only supported by the right-wing religious parties in the 45-17 vote. Speaking at the Knesset Wednesday, Hendel said that the bill aims to prevent citizens who are "hostile to the state of Israel" from voting. Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit argued staunchly against the bill, asserting that the right to vote was a basic right guaranteed to all Israeli citizens. Arab MKs also opposed the bill, stating that it was a "racist" move aimed at preventing Arab Israeli citizens from voting.


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