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Israeli Arab lawmakers launch response to Jewish state bill

Amid claims that the Nationality law would secure Israel's position as the state of the Jewish people at the expense of its democratic values, Israeli Arab lawmakers are advancing a democracy bill for equal rights.
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“This basic law aims to anchor the values of Israel as a democratic and multicultural state, treating its citizens with complete civil and national equality,” reads the bill that was created recently by Arab Knesset member Yousef Jabareen of the Joint List. Jabareen initiated his bill as a response to the Nationality law, which is scheduled to have its first Knesset reading soon. The Nationality law would secure Israel’s position as the state of the Jewish people, and its detractors argue that it does so at the expense of the country’s democratic values. The bill passed a preliminary reading in May 2017.

According to Jabareen, his proposal will expose the real faces of the Knesset members who support the Nationality law and the series of anti-democratic laws that were passed in recent years by the right-wing coalition. His bill will prove that democracy for them is no more than lip service. Simultaneously, he claims that his proposal will also challenge Israel’s left, or at least what remains of it.

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