Monday, October 23, a special Commission producing a version of the Basic law about the national character of the state, discussed the paragraphs relating to the state symbols — flag, anthem, capital. Opening the meeting, Committee Chairman MP Amir Ohana (Likud), said that we are talking about paragraphs, causing less controversy than many others and called them «relatively easy». However, very quickly it became clear that the approval of these paragraphs will be extremely difficult. MPs from the opposition present at the meeting, Tzipi Livni (the»Zionist camp»), Tamar Zandberg (MERETZ), Yael German («Yesh Atid»), Yusuf Jabareen, Taleb Abu Arar and Dov Hanin (United Arab list) — has renewed debate about the essence of the bill, its necessity or lack thereof. «Why again and again to pass laws that are detrimental to the Arab residents of Israel?» asked Yael Herman.
Tzipi Livni, in turn, ironically suggested to organise unprotected trip through the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. «If your law says about the United Jerusalem, let us demonstrate free visit Arab villages,» she said. Arab deputies, in turn, demanded that the bill text included a mention of the equality of all national groups living in Israel.
The head of the legislative Committee of Knesset Nissan Slomiansky («Bayt Yehudi») is noted. in the final drafting of the equality will be guaranteed social equality. «National equality can not be, because Israel is the state of the Jewish people. The lack of equality appears even in the Law of return,» said Slomiansky. Mention of the law of return angered Tzipi Livni: «You’re terrible. The law of return regulates the right to receive Israeli citizenship, but in any case, it does not regulate legal relationships between those who in this citizenship already has, ‘ said Livni. — Claiming that the Law of return violates the principle of equality, you provide food for those who want to seek its abolition».
The debate lasted nearly three hours, and most of the time was acute, but without personal attacks, insults and attempts to interrupt the opponent. The discussion was attended not only MKS, but also invited guests of the organization «Tag Meir», from the Institute of development strategy of Zionism, the representatives of the reform movement and other organizations. The head of the Commission Amir Ohana, said that nearly does not restrict the speakers in time because of the importance of the discussed draft law. «I know that unanimity on such an issue cannot be reached, however, my task is to reduce differences to a minimum,» he said.
The vote on the discussed sections of the bill was postponed.