Justice Minister Threatens To Quit Israeli Cabinet If His Version of Loyalty Oath Defeated

By Haaretz

Published October 20, 2010, issue of October 29, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Isareli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman has reportedly said he will leave the Cabinet if a bill requiring naturalized citizens to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state fails to pass.

But a head count by Haaretz reveals that currently, there is no Knesset majority for the bill: Only 56 of the 120 Knesset members support it. Its passage will thus depend on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability to strong-arm Members of Knesset who currently oppose it into switching their votes.

Neeman made his reported comment at a closed meeting with Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser, Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein and coalition chairman Zeev Elkin to discuss the exact wording of the bill, following Netanyahu’s decision on October 18 that the pledge would be required of all new citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike.

This was a change from a previous Cabinet decision that would have required the oath only of non-Jewish naturalized citizens.

Edelstein and Elkin, both immigrants from the former Soviet Union, told Neeman at the meeting that they will not support the bill in its new form, as it discriminates between Jews born in Israel and Jews who immigrate under the Law of Return.

Neeman spent most of October 19 in negotiations to find a wording that would enjoy the broadest possible support in the Cabinet. In particular, he wants to find wording that the three Likud party Cabinet members who voted against the bill on October 10 can support.

But the Labor Party has already announced that it will oppose the revised bill, as has United Torah Judaism and the entire opposition, including the right-wing National Union. That leaves the coalition without enough votes to pass it.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.