Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in the Knesset after 40 members of parliament signed a petition calling upon him to speak and respond to members of the opposition and their arguments. Throughout his speech, cries of protest were heard from among the opposition.
Many of them were removed from the plenum after they were called to order three times.
The Prime Minister said ”First, I would like to update you that I have requested to bring to the government a bill to negate the rights of a resident who is involved in terror, incitement and violence. We are determined to fight against terror with strength in order to return security to the residents of Israel in general and to those who live in Jerusalem specifically. We will not be satisfied with just an increase in security forces to prevent disturbances of the peace or the destruction of the houses of terrorists. In the State of Israel, those who incite, deploy terrorists and of course the terrorists themselves and their families who give them support, will not benefit from the rights that stem from their being Israeli residents. Whoever glorifies murderers, whoever calls them martyrs, won’t benefit from national insurance and all the social benefits. There’s nothing more absurd than this. This absurdity we will eliminate.”
”In the Jewish nation-state law, as I am introducing it today, the State of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state and one principle does not hold sway over the other. Israel promises equal individual rights without regard for religion, race or gender. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and the Jewish people alone. The combination of national rights of the Jewish nation and individual rights of citizens has been a common thread through all of the founding documents that accompanied the founding of the State of Israel. The Balfour Declaration spoke of the need to establish a national home for the Jewish nation along with protecting the civilian and religious rights of all its residents. The British Mandate used these exact same terms, as did the UN partition plan and the Declaration of Independence.”
”There are those who are challenging the national rights of the Jewish nation from within and without. Whoever doesn`t see it has his head in the sand. It is enough to hear MK Ghattas who does not recognize one millimeter of a Jewish right in the State of Israel. I understand why Hamas opposes the Jewish nation-state law, but I don’t understand why some of my best friends oppose it.”
”Members of the opposition ask all the time what have I done during my term. You have a simple approach – `If you didn`t evacuate [settlements], you haven`t done anything`.” Netanyahu then counted his achievements and repeated over and over again ”you haven`t evacuated [settlements], you haven`t done anything.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said in response ”There is hardly a single media body in the Western world that is not following with concern after the demon that has taken hold of you, Prime Minister. You, and us, are demanding from the world, and especially the enlightened [world], to see in us a developed and advanced Western democracy. It seems that once again you aren’t demanding from yourself what you demand from our friends, and our allies around the world.”
”What is so urgent for you that you need to NOW raise the matter of the Jewish nation-state and to shake the principles that are detailed in the Declaration of Independence? The answer is that only a prime minister who lacks confidence, without vision and without a plan, needs to verbally split hairs as in the nation-state law to justify the obvious. The direct result of advancing this unnecessary law is not reinforcing the state, rather the danger of it being lost as a democratic and equal state.”