In Israel, all are equal, but some may soon be more equal than others.
The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognize Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalize Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a second official language. It is being promoted vigorously by the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu [pictured below], and was approved by the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, but has attracted fierce criticism.
Those critics include Reuven Rivlin, the country’s president, who said he wants to ensure that “the Arab public in Israel not feel like the Jews felt in the diaspora.”
Said one commentator:
“A quarter of Israel’s population is not Jewish, and probably the most important item on the nation’s agenda should be their integration into the fabric of Israeli society and their participation in the Israeli economy. Giving them the feeling of being at home, of being equal citizens.”