Knesset vedtok onsdag et forslag om å gjøre det straffbart å benekte at Israel er en demokratisk, jødisk stat. Forslaget må vedtas tre ganger til og må gjennom en parlamentskomit for å bli lov.
It would outlaw the publication of any «call to negate Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, where the content of such publication would have a reasonable possibility of causing an act of hatred, disdain or disloyalty» to Israel.
Zevulun Orlev, lawmaker with the right-wing Jewish Home party who initiated the bill, told Reuters the bill permitted a maximum one year prison term for any offenders.
The measure would have to pass three additional votes in parliament and a committee review before becoming law.
Civil rights activists caution this and other legislation threatens to curb the rights of Arab citizens.
Its approval on a preliminary reading showed how Israeli support for laws seen as targetting Israeli Arabs has grown since a right-wing government was sworn in after a February election.
Spørsmålet er om man kan oppnå lojalitet til staten gjennom å kriminalisere et annet syn.
Kritikere er bekymret for mulige konsekvenser for ytringsfriheten.