Sunday, May 31, 2009

Loyalty Oath Defeated

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation resoundingly rejected the proposed bill that would have demanded an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state and military or community service in exchange for citizenship. All the members on the committee, except for three ministers from Yisrael Beitenu, voted against the bill. Without the support of the coalition, the bill's chances of being approved by the Knesset are nearly non-existent.

Finally, the government does something right. I'm glad Avigdor Lieberman was unable to pressure Likud ministers into voting in favor of this repugnant proposal.

In related news, politicians are negotiating a compromise over the so-called "Nakba Law". In its original form, the bill would make it illegal to commemorate the Nakba and mourn the creation of the State of Israel. The revised version would not make it illegal for private citizens to commemorate the Palestinians' catastrophe, but would make it illegal to use public funds (taxpayers' money) for mourning Israel's independence. This would mostly mean that Arab municipalities, whose budgets rely more on government money than local taxes, would be barred from funding Nakba-related events.

This sounds like a reasonable compromise to me. Palestinian citizens of Israel should be allowed to express their negative feelings towards Israel, but it would be ridiculous to expect Israel to fund events and materials decrying its own existence. I don't want my taxes to be spent on the Nakba. The Arabs can find other sources to fund these activities.

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