The Knesset plenum on Tuesday approved the first reading of MK Oren Hazan`s proposal to anchor in the Flag, Emblem and National Anthem Law the country`s name as the ”State of Israel” and determine that the Minister of the Interior will be authorized to issue guidelines for the use of the state`s name by the state`s institutions and civil servants.

The explanatory notes to the bill say ”Given that Israeli law does not formally define the name of the State of Israel, the proposer requests to anchor the country`s name in law and defend its honor through an amendment, similar to the protection given to the state`s flag and emblem.”

MK Hazan (Likud) argued that a Supreme Court ruling made the Declaration of Independence merely ”declarative” in nature, without legal weight, ”and suddenly, after 67 years, no one can really determine that the country`s name is the `State of Israel`. The reality came from this House of all places, where an MK said `where is it written that this is the state of Israel?` Therefore, I decided to introduce an historic amendment and determine that the country`s name is the `State of Israel`. There is no shame in standing up and calling out that this is our country.”

Ten lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, while eight opposed. The bill now returns to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, which will prepare it for its second and third readings.