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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Netanyahu's Livni obsession coming to an end?

Maybe Prime Minister Netanyahu saw the poll numbers that have her barely making it into the next Knesset. Or maybe he finally figured out what the rest of us did a long time ago: Tzipi Livni is about 'me, me, me,' and while she may have lots of friends on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington and in Foggy Bottom, she was very few friends in Israel. Whichever it is, at long last, Netanyahu may finally have come to the realization that he doesn't need to pander to Tzipi Livni - and he may be hurting himself politically by continuing to do so.
"On Sunday I will bring the Jewish State Law to the Cabinet, in order to provide a response to all those who doubt the right of Jews to have their own nation-state in the state of Israel. The Jewish State Law is a foundation in securing our rights in our country," Netanyahu said.
According to the Jewish State Law, which was proposed by MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and is backed by the Jewish Home party, all Jewish schools will teach Jewish history as well as Jewish tradition and heritage. Hebrew will be recognized as the only official language in Israel. Arabic, which as of now is considered an official language in Israel, will instead be given special status.
The bill also declares that the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which a Jew can exercise his desire for self-determination in accordance with his historical legacy. This right to exercise national self-determination will be provided to Jewish people only.
However, every resident, regardless of religion and nationality, will be entitled to preserve his or her heritage, culture and language.
The bill came before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, but Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who opposes the law, removed it from the agenda by purposely wasting time at the meeting, leaving only the last few minutes for a hurried discussion of the law before announcing that the debate on it is to be put off for a later date.
Livni has outsized influence on the government - or at least she has until now. She is Justice Minister, a position that is probably ministry number 5 on the totem pole (after the Prime Minister, and Defense, Foreign and Finance), despite the fact that the party she leads has only six seats in the current Knesset. It's long past time for that to stop.

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