At least threePhoto: Yonatan Zindel right-wing laws have thus far faced obstacles on their way to government approval after the successful passage of the National Budget Bill, including one to block foreign NGOs, one to outlaw Palestinian flags in state institutions and the third, an extension of the 2018 Nation-State Bill dubbed Zionism bill that would compound the government to apply the value of Zionism to any decision made.
At the same time, the government approved funding for far-right homophobic Avi Maoz who will head the Education Ministry's extra-curricular programs despite a large number of municipalities vowing he would not be allowed to interfere in their schools.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who heads the most right-wing and religious coalition since the establishment of the state, and whose coalition announced the judicial overhaul which brought hundreds of thousands into the street, was now forced to deal with the proposed laws brought to the ministerial committee on legislation for approval.
He had refused to advance the law banning NGOs from contributing to Palestinian and Israeli causes following international condemnation. It was proposed by a member of the ruling Likud Party and was aimed at preventing primarily European non-profits from funding Palestinian projects and Israeli human rights and left-wing activism. Netanyahu's decision was criticized by members of his own party who said he buckled to foreign pressure.
The Flag Bill proposed by Itamar Ben-Gvir Otzma Yehudit Party would criminalize the raising of flags of "enemies of the state especially on university campuses. " Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara said the proposal raises constitutional questions because it assumes a correlation between the flag and acts of terror while infringing on the right to free expression and the right to protest. Student groups also said they would fight the bill if it were to pass.
The Zionism Bill which Ben-Gvir's party also proposes may face legal hurdles. According to authors of the bill, Zionist values, as expressed in the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, will be guiding and decisive principles in shaping public administration policy, domestic and foreign policy, legislation, and actions of the government and all its units and institutions, both in shaping and implementing public policies - without detracting from the principles found in other Basic Laws."
"The legislation’s aim is to instruct all areas of government and its branches to give weight to Zionist values when determining and implementing policies as expressed in the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People will be guiding and decisive principles in shaping public administration policy, domestic and foreign policy, legislation, and actions of the government and all its units and institutions, both in shaping and implementing public policies - without detracting from the principles found in other Basic Laws."
The proposed bill is based on a clause in the coalition agreement between Otzma Yehudit and the ruling Likud Party, which states that: "Within 30 days of the government’s establishment, a decision will be made according to which Zionism will be considered as the prime value in shaping public policy, domestic and foreign policy, legislation, and state activities.
Dr. Amir Fuchs of the Israel Democracy Institute said that if the law will grant unique benefits to Jews in budgets or allocation of land, it will contradict the Declaration of Independence and other Basic Laws, and could lead to discrimination against non-Jewish Israelis under the veneer of "Zionist values" contrary to Israel’s democratic identity.
The Prime Minister's office said negotiations were underway to agree on a bill that in which Zionist values would "guide" government decisions.