A new version of the discriminatory “nation-state bill” has passed the first stage of enactment into law. On Wednesday, May 10, the bill passed its preliminary Knesset reading when 48 lawmakers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, voted in favor of the bill and 41 opposed it after a heated debate. Three Joint List MKs were expelled from the Knesset plenum for disrupting the debate.
Among the opponents to the bill is MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List), who said that this bill crosses another red line. “To blur the real argument, which is this government’s opposition against the establishment of a Palestinian state, they drum up an argument over the State of Israel, and do it by way of badly damaging minority rights and the status of Arabic,” said Khenin.
Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, Chairman of the Joint List, noted that no law could hide the fact that two peoples live in Israel and accused the government of trying to foment hate. He said: “No apartheid law, racist and ultra-nationalist however it may be, can erase the fact that two nations live here. This extreme right-wing government is trying to light a fire of nationalist hatred here, but I still believe that there is a majority here that wants to live in peace, equality and democracy, and that that majority must now stand up to fight determinedly against this dangerous government.”