MKs forced out during heated Knesset discussion on controversial nation-state bill

Members of left-wing parties said the bill, which seeks to establish Israel's status as a Jewish state but does not contain the word "equality" in it, was "racist."
Photo credit: Channel 2 News

A Knesset discussion about the controversial nation-state bill on Wednesday morning sparked heated conflicts between MKs from the opposite sides of the Israeli political map. Several MKs stormed out of the room while others were forced out.

The bill, designed to establish Israel's status as a Jewish state, was originally supported by most parties in the Knesset until the clause containing the word 'equality' was removed from it.

MKs Michal Rozin, Ilan Gilon, Yoel Hasson and Masud Ghnaim repeatedly interrupted the discussion by calling the bill "racist" until being forced out of the room. Seeing this, MKs Zehava Galon, Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka stormed out. MK Oren Hazan yelled at them, "If you don't like it, move to Gaza."

Aiman Odeh, the chairman of the Israeli-Arab Knesset party, told the committee members, "You are weak and insecure. You don't have enough confidence in the Zionist idea and in the expulsion, so you feel the need to prove yourselves. Only an insane country behaves this way."

"No racist law will change history," Odeh added. "No apartheid law will erase the fact that two peoples are living here."

The committee chairman, Likud MK Amir Ohana, launched the discussion by saying, "Claiming that this bill is racist is like claiming that Zionism is racist. We will protect the rights of minorities, but national rights belong to the Jews only."



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