A proposed bill in Israel calling for a year imprisonment for anyone denying Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state has touched off debate here about the role and character of the country.
“Are you the thought police? Have you gone crazy?” raged Chaim Oron, leader of the Meretz Party, … during a stormy Knesset session last week.
The bill is one of a series of laws some Israeli legislators are pushing for in a bid to radically reshape Israel’s approach to its Arab minority….
The most controversial one of all, which seeks to make loyalty oaths to the Jewish state a condition of citizenship, was rejected by Cabinet members Sunday. But a Channel 2 TV poll released this week found that 66 percent of Israelis surveyed said they supported the idea of a loyalty oath.
And many of the bill’s supporters in the government — which include Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who made it a cornerstone of his Yisrael Beiteinu Party’s recent Knesset campaign — have vowed to press forward with it. Read entire article at JTA Web site.