The New York Times reports: The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved draft legislation that emphasized Israel’s Jewish character above its democratic nature in a move that critics said could undermine the fragile relationship with the country’s Arab minority at a time of heightened tensions.
The promotion of a so-called nationality law has long stirred fierce debate in Israel, where opponents fear that any legislation that gives pre-eminence to Israel’s Jewishness could lead to an internal rift as well as damage Israel’s relations with Jews in other countries and with the country’s international allies.
The vote on Sunday also highlighted political fissures within the governing coalition amid increasing talk of early elections. The bill, a proposal for a basic law titled “Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” passed 14 to 6, with two centrist coalition parties opposing it. Parliament still has to approve the bill for it to become law. [Continue reading…]