Making Israel’s Jewish status the law: Why it matters

November 24, 2014 3:20 PM

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TEL AVIV (JTA) — On Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet advanced a controversial bill in a 14-6 vote that, if passed by the Knesset, would enshrine into law Israel’s status as a Jewish state. The nation-state law, as it is being called, has sparked a crisis in Israel’s coalition, with center-left parties voting against it and threatening to break up the government if it passes. Following these threats, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a full Knesset vote on the bill.

With Arab-Jewish tensions running high in Israel, supporters of the bill say it will reinforce Israel’s Jewish character. Opponents fear it will undermine the status of Israel’s Arab minority and stoke the flames of the conflict.

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