Bill would secure country’s status as Jewish state

"The purpose of this law is to anchor the basic values of Israel as a Jewish state," says Kadima MK Avi Dichter, who proposed bill.

August 4, 2011 02:38
1 minute read.
Avi Dichter

Avi Dichter 311 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) proposed on Wednesday a bill that would anchor Israel’s status as a Jewish state and a democracy in a Basic Law.

“Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People,” gives constitutional status to the declaration that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people for its self-determination according to its cultural and historical tradition.”

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In addition, the bill says “the State of Israel has a democratic government.”

Dichter explained that the law is the first step towards a complete constitution.

“The purpose of this law is to anchor the basic values of Israel as a Jewish state,” he said.

Dichter also said the articles of the bill reflect a “wide consensus,” and pointed out that 40 MKs from a variety of parties signed his proposal.

According to the bill, the right to self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people, and Hebrew is the official language of the state, while Arabic has a “special status.”

In addition, the Basic Law says the state will promote the “ingathering of exiles” and strengthen its connection with Diaspora Jews. It also gives any Jew the right to make aliya and become an Israeli citizen.

The state would also “act to preserve the cultural and historical tradition of the Jewish people,” by protecting holy sites, using the Hebrew calendar, and having Saturday and holidays as official days of rest, as well as using Jewish law as “a source of inspiration for the legislator.”

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