Netanyahu nixes vote on latest Jewish State bill

The coalition agreement states that a committee with representatives of all coalition factions will draft a Jewish state bill that will get government support, and not a private member bill.

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October 24, 2015 21:47
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Kiryat Hayovel

Kiryat Hayovel has long been considered the battleground between the capital’s haredi and non-haredi populations, but pockets of cooperation are emerging. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to remove the latest version of the controversial Jewish state bill from its agenda on Saturday night.

The panel was expected to vote on Sunday on the legislation by MK Avi Dichter (Likud) meant to anchor Israel’s status as the Jewish state in law.

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The Likud’s spokesman said that Netanyahu had the vote canceled because the coalition agreement states that a committee with representatives of all coalition factions will draft a Jewish state bill that will get government support, and not a private member bill.

On Wednesday, Dichter, who proposed the first Jewish State bill in 2011, said he submitted a new version of it because the committee that was supposed to draft a new one had yet to produce any results.

Dichter said a Jewish state bill is especially important in light of the current wave of terrorism, because “the Palestinians no longer hide their goal to erase the nation-state of the Jewish people. The events of recent months proved to anyone who still needed proof that this is a battle for the country’s image and national identity.”

“The State of Israel, which demands that its adversaries recognize it as the state of the Jewish people and asks its supporters in the world to back this demand, must be able to declare in legislation that it proudly wears its identity,” he said.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said Netanyahu’s move to block the vote is “further proof that this government is pretending to be nationalist, but it’s actions have no connection to the national camp’s principles, not in security, policy or legislation.”

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