The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Netanyahu Suggests Twist to Loyalty Oath

Netanyahu Suggests Twist to Loyalty Oath -

JERUSALEM (Reuters) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will push for legislation to require those who want to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to the nation-state of the Jewish people, an Israeli official said Wednesday. Under Israeli law, Jews who immigrate to Israel are granted automatic citizenship, and non-Jews have to take a loyalty oath to the "state of Israel."

Of course Lieberman wants it to apply to existing citizens too — meaning non-Jewish ones. Now, several countries have oaths of citizenship — in the UK to Her Majesty, in the US to the state in cases of war, in Australia to democratic principles and the rule of law, in Norway to democracy and human rights, etc. But an oath of loyalty that wants to specifically refer to the religious/ethnic character of the state is rather reminiscent of mid-twentieth century European fascism — especially if you're a settler-state most of whose indigenous population is not Jewish.