Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman has reportedly said he will not remain in the cabinet if a bill requiring naturalized citizens to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state does not pass.
But a head count by Haaretz reveals that currently, there is no Knesset majority for the bill: Only 56 of the 120 MKs support it. Its passage will thus depend on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability to strong-arm MKs who currently oppose it into switching their vote.
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 Monday that the pledge should be required of all new citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, as Neeman had wanted. This is a change from last week’s cabinet decision that would have required the oath only of non-Jewish naturalized citizens.