During a celebratory afternoon prayer at the Knesset`s synagogue on Tuesday, which was held as part of the events commemorating parliament`s 67th birthday, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, declared that the State of Israel is ”First and foremost Jewish, and only then democratic.”
Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein (Likud) and fellow MKs Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), Eitan Cabel (Zionist Camp), Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), Eli Ben-Dahan (HaBayit HaYehudi), Mordhay Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi) and Yoav Ben-Tzur (Shas) also took part in the prayer.
”I was told that a recent poll showed that the majority of the public believes the State of Israel is first and foremost Jewish, and only then democratic. Some expressed concern over the poll and wanted it to be the other way around. And I say, very good! It is an honor for the Knesset that this is how the public sees you. First and foremost a Jewish state, and then democratic. We must preserve the Jewish character of the state.”
Rabbi Yosef called on the MKs to ”do everything in your power to preserve the Jewish character of the State of Israel.”