(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 23 November 2014):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
“Last night US Secretary of State John Kerry updated me on the situation in the nuclear talks with Iran. We are anxiously monitoring developments in these talks. We are holding discussions with the representatives of other major powers and are presenting them with a vigorous position to the effect that Iran must not be allowed to be determined as a nuclear threshold state. There is no reason why it should be left with thousands of centrifuges that could enable it to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short time. Neither is there any reason why Iran should continue to develop intercontinental missiles, which could carry nuclear warheads, and thereby threaten the entire world. Therefore, no agreement at all would be preferable to a bad agreement that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and all of humanity.
Over the weekend I instructed Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelbit, along with Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, to submit draft legislation to revoke rights from residents who participate in terrorism or incitement against the State of Israel. It cannot be that those who attack Israeli citizens and call for the elimination of the State of Israel will enjoy rights such as National Insurance, and their family members as well, who support them. This law is important in order to exact a price from those who engage in attacks and incitement, including the throwing of stones and firebombs, and it complements the demolition of terrorists’ homes, and helps to create deterrence vis-à-vis those who engage in attacks and incitement.
Today, I will submit to the Cabinet the nationality law and the principles that I believe need to guide this legislation. The State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish People. It has equal individual rights for every citizen and we insist on this. But only the Jewish People have national rights: A flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to the country, and other national symbols. These are granted only to our people, in its one and only state.
I hear from people who say ‘Who needs this law? We’ve managed without it for 66 years.’ And I ask: Who needed Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty? We managed without it for 45 years. But both are necessary. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. There are those who would like the democratic to prevail over the Jewish and there are those who would like the Jewish to prevail over the democratic. And in the principles of the law that I will submit today both of these values are equal and both must be considered to the same degree.
This law is also needed now for another reason: There are many who are challenging Israel’s character as the national state of the Jewish people. The Palestinians refuse to recognize this and there is also opposition from within. There are those – including those who deny our national rights – who would like to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev. Neither do I understand those who are calling for two states for two peoples but who also oppose anchoring this in law. They are pleased to recognize a Palestinian national state but strongly oppose a Jewish national state.
On the eve of last Independence Day, I stood in the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in Tel Aviv and I promised to submit this legislation to the Cabinet and I am doing so today. I have not softened it and I have not changed anything. I have submitted the principles of the law that I believe in, the same principles that appear in the Declaration of Independence, the same principles that I absorbed in the Zionist sprit from my father, who absorbed them from Zeev Jabotinsky and from Binyamin Zeev Herzl.
Around the nationality law, and around other issues, I hear ultimatums, diktat and threats of quitting from various parts of the coalition; a country cannot be run this way. We must concentrate on strengthening security against waves of extremist Islam and the Iranian nuclear danger, on strengthening Israel’s economy and increasing citizens’ welfare – and not on threats. I believe that the heads of the parties in the coalition will unite and work in this spirit.”
2. Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver concluded the review of the activities of her ministry which she began last week.
In accordance with Minister Landver’s recommendation, Prime Minister Netanyahu directed that plan be formulated for the immigration of approximately 60,000 immigrants with emphasis on Jews from France and Ukraine.
Click here for further details.
3. The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Landver’s plan to ease the absorption of new immigrants in to the labor market in various professions.
4. Prime Minister’s Office Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women Director Vered Swid briefed ministers on the activities of the Authority.
5. The Cabinet discussed three versions of draft Basic Law: Israel – the National State of the Jewish People, that of MK Zeev Elkin, of MK Ayelet Shaked and MK Yariv Levin, and of MK Robert Ilatov.
The Cabinet decided to support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s draft principles (see attached annex below).
The Cabinet decided to support, in preliminary Knesset discussion, the aforementioned three draft versions on condition that their sponsoring MKs agree that their draft versions would be attached to the Government version to be presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu, which will be formulated on the basis of the principles detailed in the annex below, and will be adapted to it. The Government draft will be formulated in coordination with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Annex of Principles
Defining the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People, and anchoring the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
II. Basic principles
The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish People and the place of the establishment of the State of Israel.
The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish People in which the Jewish People realizes its right to self-determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage.
The right to realize national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People.
The State of Israel is democratic, based on the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in light of the visions of the prophets of Israel, and upholds the individual rights of all its citizens according to law.
III. Symbols of the State
The national anthem is Hatikvah.
The national flag is white with two sky-blue stripes close to the margins and a sky-blue Star of David in the center.
The national emblem is a seven-branched menorah with two olive branches at its sides and the word ‘Israel’ below.
All Jews are eligible to immigrate to the country and receive citizenship of the state according to law.
V. Ingathering of the Exiles and Strengthening Links with the Jewish People in the Diaspora
The State will act to gather the exiles of the Jewish People and strengthen links between Israel and Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
VI. Assistance to Jews in Distress
The State will act to assist Jews in distress and in captivity due to their being Jews.
The State will act to preserve the historical and cultural heritage and tradition of the Jewish People and to enshrine and cultivate it in the country and in the Diaspora.
All educational institutions that serve the Jewish public in the country will teach the history, heritage and tradition of the Jewish People.
The State will act to enable all residents of Israel, regardless of religion, race or nationality, to preserve their culture, heritage, language and identity.