Israeli Politics

Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Bill

Jews of every religious stripe pray side by side at Western Wall

Israel is America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East. But as a country even younger than America, Israel has had trouble squaring its Jewish identity with its desire to be a democratic state. For years, Israel has been trying to pass a form of the Jewish Nation-State bill that would please all its constituents, a gargantuan task. This bill is important because it would define the Jewish character of the State of Israel. The main problem is creating a bill that won’t alienate non-Jewish citizens of Israel while, at the same time, making a bill airtight enough that it can’t be overturned by the overbearing and far left High Court of Justice.

The bill has been a work in progress since 2011. It has now passed a preliminary reading and a committee has been formed just for the purpose of refining the text. This should be one of the Knesset’s main foci this winter. Keep an eye open on this one. It’s interesting and important.