Ultra-Orthodox join Arabs in opposing Yisrael Beitenu's allegiance law: The chairman of the United Torah Judaism faction, MK Menachem Eliezer Moses, expressed his opposition Sunday to the bill which proposes changes to the oath of allegiance taken by MKs. Moses said to Ynet, "I understand Judaism, and I also understand democracy, but I don't understand why we need the word 'Zionism'."
The Basic Law: Knesset, rules that every MK swears allegiance by stating, "I swear to remain loyal to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset." According to the proposal submitted by Yisrael Beitenu, the words "State of Israel" will be followed by "as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and to its values and its symbols."
The Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs, which discussed the issue Sunday, decided to pass the matter on for discussion in the coalition. However, a conversation with Moses made it clear that his faction would probably oppose the bill.
"I don't understand why Zionism is there," he said. "I pray three times a day to Zion, but this is a thought-police law. And even if someone swears, it doesn’t mean that he really feels so in his heart. The law is aimed at keeping Arabs and haredim out of the Knesset."
Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud) said that the proposal would be passed on to the coalition leadership for discussion Monday. "Any amendment to a Basic Law can be vetoed by any faction," he added. "If a coalition faction vetoes this proposal, we won't be able to advance it."
MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beitenu), who sponsored the proposal, said in response, "I don’t understand why the haredi factions are opposed. The law doesn’t require that they become Zionist. Neither does it require that Arab MKs become Jewish or Zionist. The law simply requires that they be loyal to the State of Israel that was founded as a Zionist, Jewish and Democratic state."