Thousands Protest Israeli Loyalty Oath Bill - Reports from
1. 8000 People Demonstrate in Tel Aviv in Defence of
2. Thousands protest loyalty oath bill (YNetNews)
Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
8000 People Demonstrate in Tel Aviv in Defence of Democracy
Sunday, 17 October 2010 15:30
Some 8,000 people marched through Tel Aviv to the Ministry
of Defence last night (16 October) in protest of the racist
laws being promoted by the Israeli government and the
transfer exercises of the Israeli security forces.
A long list of organizations, movements and political
parties participated in the demonstration, including the
Hadash party, Hithabrut-Tarabut and the
Civil Equality, amongst others.
Last Sunday (10 October) the Israeli government approved a
draft law of a new oath requiring any non-Jewish person
taking Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to the
country as a "Jewish and democratic state, a proposal the
Knesset is expected to pass.
During the demonstration, Knesset Member Dov Hanin (Hadash)
said that "we are witness here to a demonstration of
strength of the left in
Arabs from throughout the country came tonight. We intend to
struggle against the wave of racist and anti-democratic
willing to fight against racism and on behalf of democracy,
and this struggle will grow larger. Democracy has become a
fateful question for everyone and we all need to mobilize so
that the answer to this question is the correct one."
Thousands protest loyalty oath bill
Masses gather in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against amendment to Citizenship Act. Demonstrators hold signs reading 'Lieberman, Lieberman, a fascist and a racist,' 'Together we'll protect democracy'
by Yoav Zitun
Published: October 16, 2010
Protest over the amendment to the Citizenship Act continues
- some 6,000 people on Saturday evening gathered in Tel
Aviv's Gan Meir to protest of the loyalty oath bill, which
was approved by the government on Sunday.
The participants, who marched toward the Sarona compound,
carried signs reading: "Lieberman's voice, Netanyahu's
hands", "Fascism and ethnic cleansing are standing proud"
and "together we'll protect democracy."
Some demonstrators carried Israeli flags and red flags, and
chanted, "Lieberman, Lieberman, a fascist and a racist too".
Leading the procession were Members of Knesset Dov Khenin
and Muhammad Barakeh (Hadash), former MK Mossi Raz (Meretz)
and Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer.
"We are here to protest with the entire street against the
dangerous policy of the government, which Labor ministers
also support," Oppenheimer told Ynet.
"Democracy will prevail and racism will be defeated. There
is no room for (Prime Minister Netanyahu) Bibi and
Lieberman's games in the peace process. Everyone's interest
is for a two-state solution. There will be no (population)
transfer here," added MK Barakeh.
The protest organizers distributed leaflets titled: "The
Israeli government's loyalty oath to the citizens of this
country," which read, "I promise not to discriminate or
deprive anyone because of their descent, sex, nationality,
accent, color, culture, economic status or any other factor.
We demand the members of Knesset to be loyal to us and grant
us the right to live in dignity, security and hope for the future."
Many police officers were dispatched along the procession in
an effort to maintain order. Some demonstrators placed a
sticker on their mouths, which read: "I am being silenced."
The protesters marched to Sarona, in front of the Defense
Ministry, where they held a rally.
Speaking on a park bench in Sarona garden, MK Khenin said,
"The democratic freedom is in grave danger. The nightmare of
a transfer is turning into a realistic plan, and that's why
we stand here today. The foul wave that started with the
Arabs has now reached the Jews who dare think differently.
"Attacks on universities, artists and academicians have also
become part of the internal danger. We stand before a fatal
battle for our future," he added.
Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron also spoke during the rally and
said, "A bad spirit is hovering above this land. The test
that stands before us is complicated and complex. The
Knesset has 11 pending bills that are oozing of racism. We
must stop this wave.
"We cannot run a democratic country as long as there is an
occupation. We call on the government and the Knesset to
freeze all racist laws and continue to freeze the
construction in the settlements," he said.
by Kobi Nahshoni
October 17, 2010
American Reform rabbis issue statement condemning
amendment to Citizenship Law, saying 'oxymoronic
law' will strengthen
legislation greatly diminishes
character,' they say
loyalty oath bill, an amendment to
that requires all new non-Jewish immigrants to pledge
allegiance to a Jewish democratic state.
The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), which
authored the statement, warned that forcing Arab citizens to
take a loyalty oath will strengthen
harm the State's security.
CCAR claimed that the oath, proposed by Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu and supported by
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, creates "one law for Jews
and another law for non-Jews." The amendment was approved in
the Knesset on October 10.
"It would turn
historically Jews themselves have rightly cursed for their
unequal treatment of non-Christians and non-Muslims," CCAR stated.
According to CCAR, which represents nearly 2,000 Reform
rabbis, the loyalty oath denies non-Jewish citizens the
political rights and the freedom of conscience guaranteed by
quoted the declaration promising full and equal citizenship
to Arab Israelis, and asserted that the loyalty oath goes
against this provision.
"Our deep conviction that
Jewish and democratic is precisely what compels us to oppose
this oxymoronic law," CCAR stated. "For in requiring non-
Jewish citizens to pledge loyalty to
democratic state, this legislation greatly diminishes
The organization was especially outraged that the loyalty
oath might send a message that co-existence between Jews,
Muslims and Christians in a Jewish state is impossible.
"More than symbolic loyalty statements,
non-Jewish citizens as partners in peace, equally invested
in the future of the state," CCAR said.
Moreover, the Reform leaders wrote that the loyalty oath
defies the Torah, which commands the Jewish people not to
oppress others living amongst it.
"If this legislation comes to the floor of the Knesset," the
statement concluded, "we implore all those who themselves
would be loyal to
to oppose and vote down once and for all this un-Jewish and