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Israeli Prime Minister Proposes Basic Law to Define Jewish State

May 12, 2014

Netanyahu-Independence Hall-Tel Aviv-Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv.

“Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”  (Deuteronomy 1:8)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the Knesset (Israeli parliament) to pass a law that officially defines Israel as the Jewish state.

Speaking from Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall, the same room where David Ben Gurion proclaimed the Jewish state in 1948, Netanyahu said, “One of my main missions as prime minister of Israel is to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of our people.”

The proposed bill, entitled Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, defines Israel as the “historic homeland of the Jewish People and the place where the State of Israel is founded.”

Some believe that the law will provide legal status for the country’s existence on Biblical grounds.  (CBN)

As well, the law emphasizes the democratic nature of Israel stating that it is founded on “liberty, justice and peace according to the visions of the prophets of Israel, and committed to the personal rights of all its citizens as detailed in every Basic Law.”

It also reinforces the Right of Return, the legislation entitling all Jews to citizenship in Israel and guarantees access to holy sites, including the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount-Tourist

Tourists visit the Temple Mount where the First and Second Temples were located in Jerusalem.  Currently, the Dome of the Rock occupies the spot where the ancient Temple once stood.

Opponents to the law, including Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, say they are against any law that places the Jewishness of the state above its democratic nature.

Netanyahu insists the law will not undermine the basic rights of all the citizens of Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike.

He said he found it astonishing that those who expect Israel to make excessive compromises for a two-state solution have a problem with Israel defining itself in this manner.

“One cannot favor the establishment of a Palestinian national state in order to maintain the Jewish character of the State of Israel and at the same time oppose recognizing the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People,” he said.

“Supporting the establishment of a Palestinian national state and opposing the recognition of the Jewish national state undermines over the long term the State of Israel’s very right to exist.”

This undermining helps sets the stage for the fulfillment of the prophetic Psalm 83, which foresees the 10 Arab nations and people groups that surround Israel plotting together to destroy her: “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”


Jewish women pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.  To keep the peace with Muslims, Jews are currently forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.  The Western Wall is part of the wall that once surrounded the ancient Temple’s courtyard, and is therefore, considered Judaism’s second holiest site.

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