(photo credit: Reuters/Mahfouz Abu Turk)
Two bills submitted by MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) were disqualified by the
Knesset Presidency on Monday for undermining Israel’s existence as the state of
the Jewish people.
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The first bill, titled “Al-Quds, the capital of
Palestine,” is meant to to anchor Jerusalem through legislation as the “beating
heart of Palestine” – religiously, culturally, historically and diplomatically –
according to its explanatory section.
Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon
wrote to the presidency on Sunday that the bill declaring Jerusalem as the
Palestinians’ capital clearly undermines Israel’s existence as the state of the
Jewish people, and may be disqualified.
The Knesset Presidency may
disqualify bills that are racist or reject Israel as a Jewish and/or democratic
state. However, they rarely do so, unless they are instructed otherwise by the
Knesset legal adviser.
A second bill submitted by Tibi would require the
Education Ministry to disqualify any textbooks that use negative terms to
describe individuals or groups of Arabs who “fought for their right to defend
According to Tibi, this legislation would eliminate
negative descriptions of “Palestinian fighters,” such as “gangs,” and bring back
those fighters’ “national pride.”
Yinon wrote that the presidency does
not have a reason to disqualify the legislation, as it does not reject Israel as
a Jewish state.
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However, in Monday’s presidency meeting, the bill was
rejected with five in favor, four opposed and one abstaining.
that although Yinon did not find a legal issue with the bill, he would not want
the presidency to allow a bill that “crosses red lines” to be put to a vote in
He added that he sees the bills as “incitement against the
State of Israel and its capital Jerusalem as well as incitement against the
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