Advertisement Close

Israeli-Arab Lawmaker Resigns over Jewish Nation Bill

posted on: Jul 29, 2018


JERUSALEM — An Israeli Arab lawmaker says he is resigning from parliament for “ideological reasons” to protest the recent passage of a controversial law enshrining the state’s Jewish character.

Labor lawmaker Zuhair Bahloul says Sunday he can no longer serve in a country that officially marginalizes the 20 percent Arab minority he represents.

Bahloul, a former popular sports broadcaster, is regarded as a symbol of Jewish and Arab coexistence.

His departure marks further fallout from the explosive bill, which has also seen strong opposition from a Druze minority that serves in the military and feels slighted by the legislation.

Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence defined its nature as a Jewish and democratic state. The government says the bill merely enshrines the country’s existing character but critics say it undercuts its democratic values.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.