(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Loyalty can only be expected from citizens if the State returns such loyalty, Science, Culture and Sport Minister Ghaleb Majadle said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Herzliya Conference at IDC, Majadle said, "Anyone who wants loyalty from Israeli-Arabs must first ensure that the State is loyal to them, by closing the gaps."
The minister was speaking in response to the Israel Beiteinu election campaign which says only those loyal to Israel should be granted citizenship.
Majadle added, "I hope we will return to being a moderate society, and that the demagogues don't succeed in bringing us to state of despair." He said that the "vast majority" of Israelis were "sane and pragmatic."
The minister also referred to Israelis' scientific achievements in recent years, saying "We're one of four leading countries in space technology, and among the world's leaders in security research." He added, however, that Israel was not fulfilling its potential in societal terms.
He warned that the county would be in danger if "gaps in Israeli society" were not bridged.
Majadle is 15th on the Labor party's Knesset list.