Yisrael Beytenu announces new party list in Jerusalem, January 19, 2015.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will vote Sunday on whether to back a bill that would require MKs to swear allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
According to the explanatory notes of the measure, there would an addition to the current oath taken by lawmakers. Upon assuming office, they would have to swear allegiance to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and pledge to protect its symbols and honor them.
The legislation, initiated by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu), was signed by all of his faction colleagues (except Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who as a minister cannot sponsor a private member’s bill).
Forer said it is imperative these days that lawmakers demonstrate their will to fulfill the vision of the state’s founders. “Knesset members should swear their allegiance in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence,” he said.
“The Knesset, just like the State of Israel, was established based on the natural right of the Jewish people to be sovereign in its land. Therefore, it should be a condition for joining the Knesset, and every member should declare it when he is sworn in.”
The initiative caused uproar among the Arab MKs, who see it as a direct attack on them.