An Israel Beiteinu bill derided by critics as unfairly targeting Israeli Arabs passed into law late Monday night, and was welcomed by supporters as strengthening internal deterrence against would-be terrorists and traitors. The Citizenship Law enables courts to revoke citizenship, in addition to issuing prison sentences, against people who are convicted of treason, serious treason, aiding the enemy in a time of war, or having committed terror against the state.
Israel Beiteinu MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov co-sponsored the bill, which easily passed the plenum by a vote of 37-11.
“Any normal state would have legislated this bill years ago,” said Rotem shortly after the bill passed. “I thank all of the legislators, who have sent a message tonight that citizenship and loyalty go hand and hand. There is no citizenship without loyalty.”
The bill originated in Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman’s campaign promise of “no loyalty, no citizenship.” Initially, Israel Beiteinu pushed for legislation requiring a loyalty oath to a “Jewish and democratic” state, but the current law was the compromise that the faction managed to secure from the coalition.