MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu)
Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad)
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Knesset OK's new Citizenship Act; Arabs cry 'fascism'
Knesset approves amendments to Citizenship Act allowing State to revoke rights from Israelis convicted of terror-related offenses, espionage. Arab Knesset members slam legislation; MK Barakeh: Israel heading towards fascism

The Knesset approved amendments to the Citizenship Act Monday that will allow the State to revoke citizenship rights from Israelis convicted of terror-related offenses, espionage or acts harming Israel's sovereignty.


Thirty seven Knesset Members voted in favor of the amendments while only 11 opposed.


According to the amendment bill, initiated by MK David Rotem and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu), the State will expand the courts' or administrative authority's powers to revoke the Israeli citizenship of any person who spied for a terror organization, brought about an armed conflict, aided an enemy in wartime, served in the enemy's armed forces or carried out acts detrimental to the State's sovereignty.


Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh claimed that the law is leading the State of Israel towards Fascism.


"It is possible that the overuse of the word leaves people unaffected. There is a kind of acceptance, he said, adding that "all of the offenses that appear in the amendment already have penalties set by law."


MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) lashed out at him: "There's a limit". Barakeh: "You've crossed them all a long time ago and there are no words left to describe these laws. MK Uri Ariel (National Union): "Then maybe you should get down because you used up all the words."


During the deliberations, MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) said: "There is a clear fascist trend. What is happening today shouldn't surprise any of us. Someone has already constructed the political, mental and ideological infrastructure for revoking citizenship. Someone thinks that you can jump from democracy to fascism in one go?"


All about Bishara?

According to MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) there is a limit to the racial effrontery offered by the Knesset. 


"Who do you see as a loyal citizen? A loyal citizen is someone who gives up their rights. As soon as I demand my rights I'm no longer a loyal citizen…International law states that a man cannot be left without citizenship. Even when a person is executed in the US – his citizenship is not revoked. Now a party comes along that re-invents the racist wheel and puts revoking citizenships in the law book."


"We cannot allow a situation where MKs betray the Knesset and continue to be a part of this country," said MK Rotem in reference to the case of Former Balad Chairman Azmi Bishara, who fled the country after being interrogated several times for aiding Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.


Bishara was never indicted and continues to attack Israel in interviews to the foreign media. Following an appeal, the High Court of Justice ruled that Bishara continue to receive his monthly pension as a former MK.



 new comment
See all talkbacks "Knesset OK's new Citizenship Act; Arabs cry 'fascism'"
This will delete your current comment