Livni to Oversee Final Version of 'Jewish State Law'

Latest version of bill sponsored by two right-wing MKs has been stripped of some of its controversial clauses

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is to head a committee aimed at reaching an agreed-upon version of the “Jewish State law” that will be submitted to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday. Livni’s committee will also comprise the bill’s sponsors, MKs Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Yariv Levin (Likud), and Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid).

The ministerial committee will discuss on Sunday a modified proposal for a Basic Law that establishes Israel’s status as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” Shaked and Levin have revoked its more controversial clauses, which subjugated democratic values to Jewish ones. They hope the prime minister and cabinet members, including those who previously opposed the bill, will now endorse it.

Ministers Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Livni (Hatnuah), who had intended to torpedo the bill, are likely to change their position and support the bill due to the major changes in it, lawmakers have said.

In recent years the right wing has attempted to pass the so-called “Jewish State law” in a bid to force the High Court of Justice to give Israel’s Jewish identity priority over its democratic one in cases in which the two clashed.

Livni came out vehemently against the previous version of the bill, which defined Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, where the Jewish people have the exclusive right to national self-determination. The bill called the “Land of Israel” the exclusive homeland of the Jewish nation and no other.

Shaked and Levin have since revoked the explicit stipulation subjugating Israel’s democratic values to its Jewish values as well as the controversial clauses dealing with the state’s Jewish identity and democratic government.

In the current draft, Israel is defined as a “Jewish and democratic” state. To this the sponsors added key clauses from the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom.

The bill also says the state is committed to the personal rights of all its citizens. The clause saying Arabic would not be an official language in Israel has also been scrapped.

The committee will be established with the support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to estimates, if committee members and Minister Livni will reach understandings, the prime minister will adopt them and push the resulting bill.

Livni said she will not allow a law which will give precedence to the Jewish component over the democratic one in the makeup of the state, thus injuring equality.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott