Israel MPs to debate divisive Jewish nation law

Parliament announced it will meet on August 8 at the demand of 52 out of 120 members

Occupied Jerusalem – Israeli regime MPs are to return from summer recess next week to discuss mounting criticism of a new law proclaiming the country the nation state of the Jewish people, parliament said Tuesday.

President Reuven Rivlin has reportedly said he will sign the law in Arabic, in an apparent protest against the language’s loss of official status alongside Hebrew under the legislation.

Rivlin’s office did not confirm the reports in the Israeli media.

Parliament announced it will meet on August 8 at the demand of 52 out of 120 members, more than twice the number required to call a special session.

The session is for debate only and no votes will be taken, although some MPs have called for urgent changes to a law that they say legalises discrimination against the Israel’s Arab minority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the legislation, saying there are other laws on the books that guarantee equality for non-Jews and define Israel as democratic.

But Arabs have strongly criticised it, particularly those from Israel’s 130,000-strong Druze community, who, unlike other Arabs who may volunteer, are subject to compulsory service in the military or police alongside Jewish Israelis.

Arab lawmakers have branded the law “racist.”

A growing number of Jewish politicians have called for changes to address the concerns of the Druze.

Eight former police chiefs, three ex-armed forces chiefs of staff and dozens of retired senior officers have signed petitions denouncing the law.


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