MK David Rotem
Photo: Tzvika Tishler

Ministers to discuss loyalty bill

Ministerial Committee for Legislative affairs to discuss Yisrael Beiteinu MKs' motion calling for MKs' pledge of loyalty to 'State of Israel as Jewish, Zionist, democratic state'. Committee also to discuss bill securing Golan Heights' status without referendum

The Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs is slated to discuss a controversial motion on Sunday which will bring the question of Arab MKs' loyalty back to the center of the public debate.


The proposal, by Chairman Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) demands Basic Law: The Knesset, be amended in a way that requires every Israeli MK declaring loyalty to the "State of Israel" to add the words "as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state, and to its symbols and values".


Rotem's fellow faction members MK Robert Ilatov, MK Moshe Matalon and Mk Alex Miller also signed the motion.


Rotem told Ynet: "In recent years there has been an unacceptable phenomenon of MKs acting against the Knesset's values, and at times even against laws and rules legislated by the Knesset."


He added that "anyone who heard or saw MKs El-Sana and Zahalka's slanderous comments in recent days against the defense minister, and even allowed Israel's greatest enemy Ismail Haniyeh to speak to the public using a mobile device which is the property of the Knesset and the State, understands that there is a need to take steps to make MKs loyal to the State."


Aides close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the matter, "This is a change to a basic law. According to coalition agreements, this requires the consent of the entire coalition. The matter has yet to be discussed. According to our estimates, Labor is expected to object to it, and the law may not go to a ministerial committee."


Securing Golan Heights?

Likud MK Carmel Shama plans to once again raise a motion that any territorial concessions in the Golan Heights would require a two-thirds majority of 80 MKs. He told Ynet that "there is a parallel motion that speaks of a referendum, which can only be bypassed by a two-thirds majority. I know that there are MKs that object to a referendum, and so it can fall later on."


Shama expressed confidence that the ministerial committee would approve his proposal: "The parallel law, which has received a green light is moving forward. My law is similar, and therefore they will back it."


However, sources close to the prime minister hinted he would not support the motion: "The existing referendum law is enough, there is no need for other paths. We believe this motion will not be passed in the committee tomorrow either. In any case, the prime minister has yet to give his opinion in the matter."


Roni Sofer contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 01.03.10, 00:15
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