AlJazeeraEnglish | October 11, 2010
Israel’s Arab community has been angered by the government’s proposal requiring any non-Jew taking Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to the country as a Jewish and democratic state.
The controversial phrase added to citizenship law in move is seen by critics as attempt to get support for new settlement freeze.
Palestinians say the law would legitimise discrimination and the dispossession of the indigenous people.
Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Jerusalem.
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We will not be citizens of a fascist state purporting to be Israel” say hundreds of Israeli academics and public figures
The Only Democracy?
Oct. 11, 2010
A protest rally against the government’s “Loyalty Oath Bill” was held outside the Tel Aviv house where Ben-Gurion read the 1948 the Declaration of Independence. There, today, the “Declaration of Independence from Fascism” was signed.
“We are citizens of the Israel which was depicted in the Declaration of Independence, a peace-seeking country based on the principles of equality and civil liberties. We do not intend to be the citizens of a state purporting to be Israel which stops being democratic and enbarks on becoming a fascist state,” proclaimed intellectuals, public figures, and Israel Prize laureates who gathered this afternoon for a protest rally against the “Loyalty Oath Bill” approved by the government. A protest rally was held on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, in front of the museum building where David Ben Gurion had read the Declaration of Independence in 1948.
Beneath the statue of Meir Dizengoff, first mayor of Tel Aviv, actress Hanna Meron read out from that Declaration of Independence: “The State of Israel will be based on based on Liberty, Justice and Peace, as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or gender; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. She noted that, sixty-two years later, the reality of Israel is very different than what the country’s Declaration of Independence envisaged. At the end of the rally, a “Declaration of Independence from Fascism” was signed (see full text below).