Israeli Cabinet to vote on charged legislation that requires pledge to Jewish stateBy AP
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Immigration bill vote could affect slowdown
JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister has agreed to hold a vote on a controversial citizenship bill in what appears to be a move aimed at garnering support for an extension of a West Bank settlement slowdown.
Under heavy international pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been sounding out key Cabinet ministers on the matter. But so far, he faces a majority against extending the building restrictions.
His hardline foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is among those opponents. Bringing the citizenship bill, sponsored by Lieberman, to a vote on Sunday could soften that opposition.
The bill would amend a loyalty oath for new immigrants to describe Israel as “Jewish and democratic.” While largely symbolic, it is likely to anger the Palestinians and Israel’s own Arab minority.