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Old 18th October 2010, 09:00   #1 (permalink)
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Israel’s new pledge of loyalty

Is oath a step towards the transfer of Arabs?

Thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv last Saturday night under the slogan “Together against racism – Arab and Jewish March for Democracy”. They were protesting against a government proposal that would require new, non-Jewish citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Some carried signs saying “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”, while others condemned what they see as a rising tide of racism in their country.
An amendment to Israel’s citizenship law, which has been approved by Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet but must still be passed by the Knesset, would oblige new citizens to say: “I declare that I will be a loyal citizen to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and I obligate myself to respect its laws.”
Until now the wording was simply a pledge of loyalty to the State of Israel. Jews coming to Israel under the Right of Return would not be required to take the new oath. Nor would non-Jews who are already Israeli citizens.
Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman insists that the change is necessary because of attempts to question Israel’s Jewishness but critics see the loyalty oath as the latest move in a campaign with the ultimate aim of transferring Israel’s entire Arab population into a future Palestinian state.

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