Israel’s President on Tuesday raised alarm over a proposed law seen as opening the door to the establishment of Jewish-only communities in the country.
Reuven Rivlin’s comments marked a rare intervention in politics by the country’s President, whose role is mainly symbolic.
He voiced his concerns in an open letter, pointing to a clause in proposed legislation defining Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”.
The so-called nation-state law, which the government hopes to have approved by the end of the month, could become part of the country’s basic laws which serve as a de facto Constitution.
The clause Mr. Rivlin criticised would allow the state to “authorise a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.”
That was seen as allowing towns to exclude Arab citizens, who account for some 17.5% of Israel’s population, or even other Jewish communities.
Mr. Rivlin said that the legislation “could harm the Jewish people worldwide and in Israel, and could even be used as a weapon by our enemies.”
He said the Bill could allow the establishment of towns that would, for example, exclude Jews of Middle Eastern origin, ultra-Orthodox Jews or homosexuals.
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