AJC Welcomes Netanyahu Change to Israel Loyalty Oath

Oct 19, 2010, 09:59 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to direct the Justice Ministry to prepare a bill that will oblige both Jews and non-Jews to pledge loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state."

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"As we said in our statement of October 13, we had been concerned about different standards for Jewish and non-Jewish prospective immigrants to Israel," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Prime Minister Netanyahu has wisely decided, in keeping with Israel's long-established principles of democracy and equality before the law, that if Israel is going to institute an oath of allegiance, it must be applicable to all."

The introduction of the loyalty oath has generated a storm of controversy in Israel, with supporters and opponents on all sides of the country's political spectrum. After Justice Minister Ya'akov Neeman investigated the matter further, Prime Minister Netanyahu directed him to prepare an oath that would apply to all new immigrants, including Jews claiming citizenship under the Law of Return.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee