'We came to say: Stop Lieberman's fascism,' MK declares

Knesset debate held to discuss controversial proposed "loyalty oath," MK Zoabi says foreign minister is "setting the tone" and gov't is following.

October 19, 2010 16:04
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (AP).

Lieberman 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)


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A Knesset debate was held on Tuesday to discuss the government's proposed "loyalty oath" bill, which has been met with strong criticism both domestically and internationally.

The meeting, attended by lawmakers, parliamentarians and others, convened to discuss what they called "efforts to protect democracy" in Israel.

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Thousands march in Tel Aviv against loyalty oath

MK Shlomo Molla said, "Israel is thriving, but the introduction of these anti-democratic laws must end. We came here to say: "Stop Lieberman's fascism."

MK Hanin Zoabi, who famously took part in May's Gaza flotilla, also commented on the foreign minister, saying that he is "setting the tone," and that the government is running after him.

Labor MK Daniel Ben Simon said at the debate, "People say the country should return to Judaism. I want to know to which Judaism they want to return me to. To the 'Taliban' culture at Bnei Brak? To the culture of separation in Jerusalem? We still haven't decided what Jewish identity we all are. We need to replace this existing framework that does not advance Israeli society, but rather pushes it backwards."

On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu directed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to prepare a bill obliging all people seeking Israeli citizenship, including Jews immigrating here under the Law of Return, to pledge allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish, democratic state.”

The move came just a week after a public storm erupted over the cabinet’s approval of the same oath, but would only be recited by those ineligible to naturalize under the Law of Return, which would mainly affect Palestinians seeking citizenship through marriage to Israeli Arabs, or foreign workers.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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