Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

The controversial Basic Law passes in the Knesset by a vote of 62 in favor, 55 opposed, and two abstentions. Years in the making, the bill goes through numerous revision processes since its introduction in 2011 by Likud party member Avi Dichter. Some in the Knesset claim the bill does not go far enough to ensure that the Jewish character of Israel is maintained, some laud the bill as a victory, while others, like far-left Knesset Member Tamar Zandberg claim the bill is “an act of sabotage against Israeli law that replaced equality with racism.” Immediately garnering a range of domestic and international responses, the bill’s passing (just before the Knesset’s summer recess) is widely seen as a political triumph for PM Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party. Leaders from Israel’s minority communities and many diaspora Jews express concerns about the content and implications of the Bill (source).