Israeli parliament passes contentious Jewish nation bill

Source: Associated Press

By ILAN BEN ZION

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s parliament approved a controversial piece of legislation on Thursday that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people but which critics warn sidelines minorities.

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The government says the bill, passed in the early morning hours, will merely enshrine into law Israel’s existing character. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called its passage a “historic moment in the history of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel.”

“Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, which honors the individual rights of all its citizens,” he said. “I repeat this is our state. The Jewish state.”

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