Israeli Ministers to Vote on ‘Jewish’ Pledge of Allegiance for Arabs

Measure Would Force Arabs to Swear Loyalty to Israel as 'Jewish' State to Live With Families

Israel’s Cabinet is expected to meet this Sunday to approve resolutions aimed at severely curbing the ability of Arabs married to Israelis to move into the nation, including the first in what could be a series of controversial “loyalty oath” demands on Arabs by the nation.

The measure would require Palestinians who are married to Israelis to swear loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish state” before being granted an identity card to live with their families. Other requirements already in place include providing “financial guarantees’ to the Israeli government.

The requirement is particularly onerous as Israel’s population is only about 75% Jewish, and it would require large numbers of non-Jews to swear their fealty to keeping the government treating them and their children as second-class residents. Officials say the move is necessary to “stop terrorism.”

It is likely also just the first test balloon of a new push by the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, one of the coalition government’s largest members, for far-reaching loyalty oaths they have promised to eventually require of all citizens.

Israel’s Parliament has already approved measures criminalizing the “denial” of Israel’s status as an eternal Jewish state, and threatening to jail any Arabs caught commemorating Nakba, a day of mourning for the expulsion of large numbers of Arabs on Israel’s independence day.

Such measures have proven extremely popular with the far-right parties in power in Israel, but have often been fiercely challenged in Israeli courts. The treatment of non-citizen residents, even those married to citizens, is significantly different legally, however, and may avoid much of a legal battle.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of