British Government’s Current Position: Israel’s Nation State Law

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 5th October 2020 (HL8783)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the rejection by the Knesset of a bill aimed at introducing equality for all Israeli citizens, what assessment they have made of the functioning of democracy in Israel.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 19th October 2020

Israel is a thriving democracy which maintains a fine balance between its Jewish identity and its democratic values. As a friend to Israel, we have regularly expressed our concern in cases where Israeli laws could undermine the equality of members of minority groups. We encourage the Israeli Government to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all enshrined in its laws.

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 26 November 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: Politics and Government. HL11814

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent to the government of Israel by four UN Special Rapporteurs which stated that those Rapporteurs held “deep concerns” about the nature of Nation State Law.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 06 December 2018

We have not made an assessment of the letter. Israel’s vibrant civil society and long standing commitment to equality for all its citizens are some of its great strengths as a fellow democracy. But as a friend of Israel, we are concerned about any development which would undermine this commitment, including the Nation State Bill which removes Arabic as an official language.

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