Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[ePalestine] Knesset passes bill...Anyone surprised? Racism at its best!

“This is an important historic move that can balance Israel and bring us closer to the Christians, and I am careful not to call them Arabs, because they’re not Arabs."


Knesset passes bill distinguishing between Muslim and Christian Arabs

Critics slam law as effort to 'divide and conquer' Israeli Arab population.

By Jonathan Lis
Feb. 25, 2014

The Knesset on Monday passed a controversial bill into law that distinguishes between Muslim and Christian Arab citizens for the first time and increases the involvement of Christians in Israeli society.

The bill, which passed its second and third readings on Monday, was sponsored by coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu). Critics slammed the law as an effort to “divide and conquer” Israel’s Arab population – an allegation Levin seemed to confirm in a recent interview with the newspaper Maariv.

“This is an important historic move that can balance Israel and bring us closer to the Christians, and I am careful not to call them Arabs, because they’re not Arabs." He added that Christians “are our natural allies, a counter-balance against the Muslims who want to destroy the state from within.”

The law will have a minor impact on the makeup of the advisory committee that is appointed under the Equal Employment Opportunities Law, expanding it from five representatives of groups that promote workers’ rights under the law, to 10 members, which will include representatives of Christian, Muslim, Druze and Circassian employment groups.

The law passed 31-6 even though Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Tziona Koenig-Yair had made it clear in a committee discussion of the bill two weeks ago that she opposed it and viewed it as superfluous, “in the same way I wouldn’t be interested in separate representation for Lithuanian Haredim and [Sephardi] Haredim,” she said. “What’s more, there are no groups promoting employment for different groups in the Arab population, only for the Arab population as a whole.”

Haim Katz, chairman of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, introduced the law in the plenum on Monday, saying, “The aim is to take care of populations that have a hard time in the labor market and to give them a representation on the advisory committee.”

But opposition MKs weren’t convinced, “Perhaps we should also divide the Jewish population into Poles, Yemenites and Moroccans?” asked Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On. Meretz MK Issawi Freij added, “We are essentially in a situation where they are trying to define the state by religions, and here they are trying to say that there’s a difference between Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs.”

The law passed after several weeks of charged Labor Committee debates. During the last debate two weeks ago, Balad chairman MK Jamal Zahalka criticized Levin. “Arab rights don’t interest Yariv Levin,” he said. “There’s no specific Christian or Druze employment problem, only a problem of the general Arab population. Levin is interested in cruelly dividing the Arab public, which is oppressed as it is. We will not be his lackeys.”

According to Levin, “Christians can be directors of government companies, they will get separate representation in the local authorities, they will get equal employment opportunities. The first law I will pass will give Christians representation on the advisory committee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

Levin added, “We and the Christians have a lot in common. They’re our natural allies, a counterweight to the Muslims that want to destroy the country from within. On the other hand, there’s a message here. We will use an iron hand and demonstrate zero tolerance of Arabs who tend to identify with the terror of the Palestinian state.”

SOURCE: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.576247


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