Israeli-Arab Zionist Union MK resigns over Nation State law
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Israeli-Arab Zionist Union MK resigns over Nation State law

Labour lawmaker Zuhair Bahloul stands aside for 'ideological reasons, over the new controversial law which may marginalise Arabs

Zuhair Bahloul
Zuhair Bahloul

An Israeli-Arab legislator says he is resigning from parliament for “ideological reasons” to protest against the recent passage of a controversial law enshrining the state’s Jewish character.

Labour lawmaker Zuhair Bahloul said he can no longer serve in a country that officially marginalises the 20% Arab minority he represents.

Mr Bahloul, formerly a popular sports broadcaster, is regarded as a symbol of Jewish-Arab co-existence.

His departure marks further fallout from the explosive bill, which has also seen strong opposition from a Druze minority that serves in the military and feels slighted by the legislation.

Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence defined its nature as a Jewish and democratic state. The government says the bill merely enshrines the country’s existing character but critics say it undercuts its democratic values.

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