Knesset receives bill to make Declaration of Independence a Basic Law

 

MK Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid) wants to enshrine the principles of Israel’s Declaration of Independence as a Basic Law.

Calderon: ‘The concept of a Jewish state does not refer to Judaism as a religion, but rather as a culture & nationality.’

By Israel Hayom Staff

Yesh Atid MK Ruth Calderon has proposed a bill in the Knesset that would enshrine the principles of Israel’s Declaration of Independence as one of the country’s Basic Laws.

David Ben-Gurion reads the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv – Photo: GPO

Israel does not have a written constitution. Instead, there is a system of Basic Laws.

According to Calderon, Israel’s courts have for decades relied upon the principles found in the Declaration of Independence, which was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. She said the document should be given the statutes of a Basic Law.

The bill would define Israel as the state of the Jewish people. But, Calderon said, the concept of a Jewish state does not refer to Judaism as a religion, but rather as a nationality and culture. Israel would remain committed to protecting the rights of all its citizens and residents, regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender.

“The Declaration of Independence is a balanced document, Jewish and democratic, based on the principles of justice and equality that are no less relevant today than they were when [it] was written,” Calderon said.

“I’m seeking to promote this bill because I believe that if we don’t set the principles that we want to live by, they will be set for us. It’s important that we anchor the values of the Jewish and democratic state [in a Basic Law] … along with our commitment to equal rights, exactly as was stated in the Declaration of Independence, which is the document of principles upon which the state was established.”

View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10239

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