'Fundamental principles. Cabinet meeting (archives)
Photo: Gil Yohanan
'Barak must vote against bill.' Herzog
Photo: Ofer Amram
Cabinet expected to pass loyalty oath bill
Few ministers, including four Labor ministers, expected to oppose Citizenship Act amendment obligating prospective citizens to pledge allegiance to 'Jewish and democratic state.' Herzog: Proposal sends problematic message to Israel's minority groups

Barring any last-minute developments, on Sunday cabinet is expected to pass the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, which would obligate prospective citizens to pledge their allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state."


Most cabinet members are set to vote in favor of the bill. Likud ministers Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, as well as four ministers from Labor, are expected to vote against it. Labor chairman Ehud Barak will apparently back the proposal.


Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog said the proposal sends a "problematic message to Israel's minority groups" and called on Barak to oppose it as well. Another minister said the loyalty oath bill is "damaging to Israel."


Minister Begin told Ynet Saturday night that prospective citizens should be required to pledge their allegiance to the "State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people."


Fellow Likud member Michael Eitan said Israel could do without the amendment, but added, "Every organization or country is permitted to set its own conditions for accepting new people. Usually these terms include agreeing to the organization's fundamental principles.


"The term 'Jewish and democratic' also obligates the country's Jews to uphold the principles of democracy. People who come here and say they want a Halachic state - they will not be granted citizenship. If the bill will apply to non-Jews only, I'll vote against it," Minister Eitan said.



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