Israeli premier promotes Jewish nation-state bill

Israeli premier promotes Jewish nation-state bill

Israel’s prime minister says he’s pushing forward a bill that enshrines in law that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

At his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Since its democratic nature has been legislated, he says, so should its Jewish nature. He says “the balance between these two facets is necessary” when Palestinians and others refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The bill has yet to be formally drafted and Netanyahu says it faces “many changes and discussions.” Still, it comes at a time of high tensions between Jews and Arabs, who make up 20 percent of the population and could feel further marginalized by the new legislation. Opposition lawmakers say the bill will provoke anger.

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