"Israel ratified a new law that legally distinguishes between Muslim and Christian citizens of the state, Haaretz
reported Monday. The bill, which easily passed by a 31-6 vote in its
third and final reading, recognizes the Christian Arab population as a
separate, though not national minority for the first time.
The law, which expands the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity
in the Employment Commission by adding to it a separate Christian
representative, was marketed as a way to better integrate Christians
into the Israeli workforce. However, in practice, it is being carried
out at the blatant expense of Muslim citizens. There are approximately
160,000 Christians living in Israel.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Likud MK Yariv Levin, Christians are
“our natural allies, a counterbalance against the Muslims who want to
destroy the state from within.” Levin, an outspoken opponent of the
establishment of a Palestinian state (like other fellow MKs in Likud and
the Jewish Home party) also emphasized that he refuses to call
Christian citizens “Arabs.” “I’m being careful about not calling them
Arabs because they aren’t Arabs,” he told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv a
few weeks ago, despite the fact that the large majority of them are, in
fact, Arabs, and many identify as part of the Palestinian nation."