Palestinian flags flutter at a protest against the Nation-State Law in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 11th, 2018.
(photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)
The Palestinian flags that were flown at a rally in Rabin Square on Saturday night are all the proof needed as to why the Nation-State Law is a necessity, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet on Sunday.
“Last night we received cogent testimony of the opposition to the existence of the State of Israel and the urgency of the Nation-State Law,” Netanyahu said. “We heard the calls: ‘With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.’ Many of the demonstrators want to abrogate the Law of Return, cancel the national anthem, fold up our flag and cancel Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and turn it – as their spokespersons said – into an Israeli-Palestinian state, and others say: A state of all its citizens,” he told his ministers.
“It is for precisely this that we passed the Nation-State Law. We are proud of our state, our flag and our national anthem. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state,” Netanyahu said.
The law, which passed in July, was designed to shore up the Jewish nature of the state of Israel. But it has sparked enormous controversy within and outside Israel, with its opponents warning that it turns Israel from an ethnic nationalist democracy into an apartheid state.
The Palestinian Authority has warned that it would try to use the law to oust Israel from the United Nations.
Netanyahu has rejected criticism of the law and on Sunday told the government that other laws protect Israeli minorities.
“The individual rights of its citizens are anchored very well in the basic laws and other laws. Now it is clearer than ever that the Nation-State Law is also necessary,” he said. “It is necessary in order to ensure the future of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. We passed this law and we will uphold it,” Netanyahu added.