Some 200 former members of the HaShomer HaTzair (Young Guard) and Noar Oved Velomed (Working and Studying Youth) movements rallied outside the Knesset on Wednesday against cabinet's approval of the amendment to the Citizenship Act, under which prospective non-Jewish citizens will be required to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic" state.
Members of the youth movements held similar demonstrations in Afula, Beersheba, Holon, Akko and Tel Aviv.
The protestors called the amendment "racist"
"We, the former members of the Zionist youth movements, consider this law "anti-Zionist and anti-democratic," said Ziv Rosenberg, spokesman for Noar Oved Velomed.
"The state was established in the spirit of respect for the minority which resides in it. This law obligates every citizen, even if he is not Jewish, to pledge allegiance to values that go against his way of life. This law reeks of racism and is incompatible with the values of democracy," he said.
According to Rosenberg, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due to political considerations, is "appeasing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with a law that does not make sense. There are red lines that must not be crossed; first and foremost for ourselves, but also for Israel's reputation abroad."
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