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Knesset blocks bill to deem Israel 'state for all its citizens'

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein rejected this week a law proposal presented by the Arab Joint List redefining Israel as the state of all its citizens.
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Rarely do parliaments in democratic states flatly refuse to debate proposed bills and disqualify them before they are even put on the agenda. However, this happened June 4 when the Knesset Presidium decided in “an unusual move,” by its own admission, to reject the submission of a proposed constitutional law sponsored by three members of the Balad faction within the Arab Joint List. Their proposed basic law, titled “State of all its citizens,’’ sought to redefine the character of the Jewish state, qualifying it as giving equal status to the Jewish nationality and the Arab nationality.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said this was the first time since he took office five years ago that he had recommended vetoing proposed legislation, adding that the presidium had not vetoed a single proposed bill in the current Knesset or in the previous one.

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