Israel: cabinet approves submission of ‘racist’ law to Knesset

A turbulent session in the Knesset (DPA)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 7, 2022

The Israeli cabinet agreed yesterday to submit a “racist” law to the Knesset (parliament) despite opposition from members of the government coalition, Israeli media have reported. The proposed law was introduced by extreme right-wing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked who appears to be banking on support for this bill from the opposition, said The Times of Israel.

According to the Israeli daily, sending the so-called Citizenship Law to the Knesset was approved despite an objection from the Meretz and Ra’am parties. Parliament is expected to vote on the bill this week. If passed, it would renew a ban on permits for Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs to live with their spouses in Israel.

A similar bill, proposed by opposition Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rotman, passed a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation last month.

Meretz party leader Nitzan Horowitz called the decision “a breaking of the consensus rules” that underpin the coalition and warned it would have “future repercussions”. He warned on Saturday of a “painful response” if Shaked moves forward with the bill, which he described as “a racist law; a law that discriminates against Israel’s Arab citizens; a law that has no place in a democracy.”

Speaking to Channel 12, Horowitz added: “We have said we cannot support this law. Anyone who goes against the agreements must understand that it will come at a price.”