Barak: Willing to vote for loyalty oath if changes accepted

Labor leader cancels expected stormy meeting with fellow Labor ministers before heading to cabinet meeting to vote on amending Citizenship Law.

October 10, 2010 11:03
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

ehud barak 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Defense Minister Barak has announced that if the cabinet does not adopt his proposed changes to the amended Citizenship Law on Sunday, he will vote against the new loyalty oath.

"I intend to stand firm on the change I proposed in the amendment to the CItizenship Law, and if it is not accepted I will vote against [the amendment]," said Barak.

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Barak, unlike most of the other Labor MKs, has expressed support for the proposed oath of loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic" state but has asked that the language of the oath be altered to include the phrase "in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence."

Barak cancelled a Labor party ministerial meeting earlier on Sunday for supposed "scheduling conflicts." 

Fellow ministers Isaac Herzog and Avishai Braverman were expected to voice strong opposition to the new, amended law at the meeting and demand that Barak vote against the amendment.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to bring the cabinet on Sunday the wording of a new pledge of allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” that naturalized citizens not making aliya under the Law of Return will be asked to make.

The new declaration is expected to pass by a wide margin. Only the five Labor ministers, and the Likud’s Dan Meridor and Bennie Begin – out of the 30-minister cabinet – are expected to vote against the new pledge.

The ministers will be asked to vote on an amendment to the Citizenship and Entry Law whereby the declaration naturalized citizens must make will read: “I declare that I will be a loyal citizen to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and I obligate myself to respecting its laws.”

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