Lapid to Arabic media: I will amend Nation-State Law if reelected

PM Yair Lapid also said that if reelected, he would ensure that there are no changes made to the status quo on Temple Mount.

 Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Israeli Minister of Energy Karin Elharar hold a press conference on the maritime border deal with Lebanon, at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2022.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Israeli Minister of Energy Karin Elharar hold a press conference on the maritime border deal with Lebanon, at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid intends to amend the Nation-State Law if he is reelected as Prime Minister, he told Israel's Arabic language news outlets on Tuesday evening.

"I oppose the Nation-State law and I think it should be changed and a section of civil equality added to it. There were talks about this, that a section be added to the basic law: human dignity and freedom," said Lapid, adding that since the law was passed in 2018 he has been against it.

"At the time I was strongly opposed to the Nation-State Law and in the Knesset plenum I said 'the State will not humiliate its citizens.' The Nation-State Law as it is written today is an insult to non-Jewish Israeli citizens and must be amended."

In addition to his comments on the Nation-State Law, Lapid clarified that a future government headed by him will not change the status quo on Temple Mount.

"We will take care of the freedom of worship of Muslims at al-Aqsa, who can go up to pray," he said. "We allow Jewish visitors to ascend the mount, but not to pray. They ascend and the visits are under supervision to make sure that the status quo is not violated."

 Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the UN General Assembly in 2022. (credit: Mike Segar/Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the UN General Assembly in 2022. (credit: Mike Segar/Reuters)

Regarding his speech at the UN, in which he made clear that he supports the two-state solution, he said that "the whole world needed to hear it. It is important to put on the table that the Prime Minister believes in a two-state solution for two peoples. I think, and have always thought, that we need to separate ourselves from the Palestinians."

He also referred to the Kaminitz law, which deals with enforcing penalties for illegal construction, saying: "we froze the law. There was no political possibility to do anything deeper to it in the previous government, which also had a right-wing element. We will examine it extensively after the elections."

Lapid also responded to statements by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, who said on Friday that "Palestinian blood finances Israel's elections" and that the purpose of the elections was to cause escalation and "heat up the region," to which Lapid said that "we, unlike him, are trying to bring calm."