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Israeli govt backs "loyalty to Jewish state" law

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Israeli govt backs "loyalty to Jewish state" law


Israeli demonstrators have been voicing their anger over plans to change the country’s citizenship laws.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has approved a plan to make everyone who wants to become an Israeli citizen to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

But not all members of the coalition cabinet agreed.

Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog said: “We feel it’s unnecessary, it doesn’t serve the interest of the State of Israel. It has a certain ideological logic behind it, but has adverse effect on Israel’s image and its spirit of true democracy.”

But right-wing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “Will we be a Jewish and Zionist state or will we become a state of all its citizens? Anyway, my party supports this approach presented today to the cabinet.”

The proposed law change must be passed in parliament before it comes into force.

At the moment Jews wanting to immigrate to Israel are granted automatic citizenship, while non-Jews have to take an oath of loyalty to the “state of Israel”, but not Israel as a Jewish state.

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