MembersThe Pitfall of the Citizenship Law

Law aimed at keeping Palestinians out of Israel, either for security or demographic reasons, has become a burdensome stone for the government

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: palestinians
People protest against the "Family Reunification Law" in front of the Knesset. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

For Israel’s new government coalition the disputed Citizenship Law and the conditions for receiving citizenship in Israel is not an easy case, in fact it is more like a trap.

For the previous government coalition, under the right-wing leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, the annual Knesset vote regarding this law was easier. The Likud and its right-wing allies were agreed that in the case of a family connection between an Arab citizen of Israel and a Palestinian from the Palestinian Authority-ruled territories, who cannot receive Israeli citizenship, they would nevertheless be entitled to reside in the country. Thus the Jewish character of the country is secured and at the same time the rights of the individual are protected.

For the current government, a combination of eight parties from right-wing across center over to left-wing as well as an Arab party, the Citizenship Law is a kind of political pitfall. The left-wing and the Arab factions in the government alliance insist on the same entry and citizenship rights that are available to Jews. And this is where the trouble starts. The...

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