Israel Invokes a Loyalty Oath for Non-Jews
Posted on Oct 10, 2010
Not Jewish in Israel? Repeat after me: Because I’m not Jewish, and because the Israeli government thinks non-Jews are potential threats to its security, I do solemnly swear my allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.”
Israel’s Cabinet easily passed a controversial bill Sunday to require non-Jewish citizens to swear an oath to the “Jewish and democratic” state. —JCL
The Israeli cabinet today approved a bill requiring new non-Jewish citizens to swear an oath of allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”, in a move that has brought accusations of discrimination against Israel’s Arab minority. One dissenting cabinet minister referred to a “whiff of fascism”.
The bill, originally promoted by the rightwing foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who has made the issue of loyalty a hallmark of his political career, was passed by a big majority despite the opposition of Labour party members.
The loyalty oath will be required of non-Jews seeking to become Israeli citizens, mainly affecting Palestinians from the West Bank who marry Palestinian citizens of Israel.
AP / Gali Tibbon
The oath is a victory for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who pushed hard for its passage.