PM Netanyahu pushes a bill legally declaring Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a special session commemorating Theodor Herzl – who is considered to be the key visionary of the Jewish state and modern political Zionism, declared that attempts by the United Nations or anyone else to try and detach the Jewish people from the land of Israel would only bolster the government’s efforts to safeguard its biblical and Jewish identity.
“Absurd votes in UN organizations, with the purpose of undermining our grasp on Jerusalem and other parts of the land. These resolutions do not weaken our hand, on the contrary, they straighten our belief in our righteousness, straighten our commitment to hold on to our country and our cities, and develop, build and guard them.” / “We are situated in Zion, land of the Bible due to our natural mandate and not by the grace of others. We are not Belgians in Kongo nor Dutch in Surinam,” said Israel’s leader.
Minister Netanyahu also took the opportunity to refer to a new nationality bill, which aims to legally declare Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, as well as a Jewish and democratic state, and also revokes the status of Arabic as an official language, which was the case to date.
“The Nationality bill that we are promoting will anchor, from a legal perspective, Israel’s stature as the nation state of the Jewish people. There is no contradiction between the state of Israel as a democracy and the country of the Jewish people. We have an ongoing commitment to insure equality of rights to all citizens of the county. The everlasting answer to those who reject Zionism is strengthening the Jewish State and pride in our heritage,” said Netanyahu.
The nationality bill, however, prompted a harsh response from the Opposition, which views the bill as an attempt to incite against Israel’s Arab minority. Among the objectors of the nationality bill was also Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, who said in an Interview to an Israeli radio station that “Israel should refrain from passing laws that are liable to diminish the value of the (country’s) Declaration of Independence.”
Rivlin further stated that the Jewish state should avoid legislating laws that could be interpreted by the international community as discriminatory against its minorities. Instead, Rivlin urged Netanyahu to maintain the status quo, in which the Jewish identity of the state would continue to rely on the Declaration of independence, a document that safeguards the ‘state of Israel’ as the ‘homeland of the Jewish people’.