Tonight, we have the delightful prospect of a far-right Likudist government which can’t muster the votes for its own favored version of the loyalty oath. When legal eagles pointed out that a loyalty oath that is required only of non-Jewish new citizens would likely be vetoed by the Supreme Court as overtly racist, the Justice minister proposed that the oath include all new citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.
But that got him into a thicket with other Israeli political interests. The former Soviet Jews don’t like the idea that any new Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union will be required to swear the oath, which might make them appear inferior to those Jews already living in Israel (I don’t quite understand the logic of that one, but go figure). Of course, it doesn’t disturb them that non-Jewish citizens would be forced to swear such an oath, which would automatically make them second class citizens. The Haredi parties claim their adherents won’t swear any oath to a secular authority. Not to mention that they don’t see Israel as a halachically-Jewish state and therefore cannot swear allegiance to it.
That leaves Bibi with 56 votes, 4 less than he needs for passage. I’d like to be a fly on the wall listening to the arm twisting conversations he’s going to conduct to swing those votes to him. Imagine the racism with which they’ll be riddled.
The Justice minister is threatening to resign if Jews aren’t included in the oath in the final version of the bill. Isn’t it strange to have a minister threaten to resign as a matter of “principle” over whether all new citizens should be forced to swear allegiance to a state based on religion? It makes Israel and its politics look like Alice’s Wonderland.