MKs: Make Hebrew the Only Official Language

MK Livnat: The status of Arabic, Russian 'cannot be identical to the status of the Hebrew language.'

MK Limor Livnat (Likud) and three other leading MKs from Kadima, Likud and Shas are set to propose this week that the Knesset remove Arabic from its list of the country's official primary languages.

The bill would make Hebrew the only official primary language, and Arabic, English and Russian would become official secondary languages.

In addition to Livnat, the MKs behind the bill are Shas faction whip Yakov Margi and deputy Knesset speakers Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

"It cannot be, it is not appropriate or reasonable that the status of one language or another in the Land of Israel is identical to the status of the Hebrew language," said Livnat.

"Precisely in these times, when there are radical groups of Israeli Arabs trying to turn the State of Israel into a binational state, it is most urgent to put into law the unique status of the language of the Bible - the Hebrew language."

Livnat also said the bill makes sense based on the country's demographics.

"Some 6 million Hebrew speakers, more than 1 million Arabic speakers and more than 1 million Russian speakers live in the State of Israel," she said. English makes the list because, said Livnat, it is used for foreign relations and "is taught as a mandatory subject in the state education system."