Mideast Daily News

Israel’s Controversial Nationality Bill Attracts High-Profile Critics

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

July 11, 2018

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The controversial legislation called the “Nationality Bill” making its way through Israel’s parliament is picking up high-profile detractors as it moves toward passage. The legislation, which is intended to indelibly establish Israel as “the Jewish state,” allows groups – religious or national – to exclude others from joining their communities. On Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin condemned the legislation as being counter to the “Zionist vision.” In a letter to lawmakers, he expressed concern that an overly vague clause that “sought to reflect the delicate balance between Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state,” could harm the Jewish people across the world and in Israel and “might even be used by our enemies as a weapon against us.” Other high-profile legal experts who warned about the exclusionary clause are the deputy attorney general and the parliament’s legal adviser. The latter warned that the fatally vague language of the bill could “lead to precedential judicial interference in the [parliament’s] legislation of Basic Laws.” [Note: Basic Laws hold a position above regular laws in a system that stands in place of a constitution – ed.]

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