Minister of Minority Affairs: New citizenship law negatively affects Israel's image
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 / Trend U. Sadikhova /
It is necessary to avoid such negative signals amid the peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, as the adoption of the new citizenship law, which forms the opinion that Israel is a state with a discriminatory policy towards non-Jewish populations, Minister of Minority Affairs, for equality and partnership Avishay Braverman, said.
"The new citizenship law, or "decision," is both infuriating and problematic, sending out a message that hurts the Israeli Arab citizens and depicts Israel in a negative manner throughout the world," professor Avishay Braverman said.
At Sunday's meeting of the Cabinet of Minisetrs, the Israeli government approved a bill which obliges to take the oath to allegiance of the Jewish state by getting the citizenship of Israel.
The new law was proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It applies only to non-Jews, including Israel's Arab citizens, who constitute 20 percent of the population.
As a minister from the Labor Party Avodah, Braverman voted against its adoption by the Cabinet of Ministers.
"I led my fellow members of the Labour Party to object to the law and feel that it has stained our government," he said.
Taking a closer look into the law, we can only see that the government is digging itself into a hole that will be difficult to get out of, Braverman added.
Formally, Israeli Arabs have equal rights with the Jewish population of Israel, including the election rights and participation in the national parliament - the Knesset.
The new law on citizenship coincided with a crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that were suspended less than a month after resumption. The obstacle is the refusal by the Israeli government to extend the moratorium on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
On Monday Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Palestinians to recognize Israel as Jewish state instead of introducing an additional ban on settlement activity. An immediate rejection was received.
What is even more astounding and questions the actual need of the law, is the fact that while we are in the midst of the start of peace talks as well as a New Deal that I am leading in the government for the Israeli Arab population, there is no need to send out this type of negative message that Israel is a State that discriminates against non Jews, Braverman said.