Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Israel passes 'citizenship loyalty' bill

Source: Press TV

Israeli lawmakers have approved a law that will allow the revocation of the citizenship of anyone convicted of threatening Tel Aviv's security.

The Israeli parliament (Knesset) passed the law on Monday, enabling Israel's Supreme Court to strip anyone convicted of espionage, treason or aiding the enemy during war of their citizenship, Ha'aretz reported.

The so-called citizenship loyalty law also authorizes the court to revoke the status of any permanent resident convicted of assisting what Tel Aviv deems as a terrorist organization.

"Anyone who betrays the state and carries out acts of terror must know - citizenship and loyalty go together," said Yisrael Beiteinu MP David Rotem, who initiated the bill that passed in its second and third reading.

"There is no citizenship without loyalty," he insisted.

Hawkish foreign minister and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, welcomed Knesset's decision as serving to overcome “the phenomenon of exploiting democracy in order to subvert it."

Under the new law, people with dual citizenship would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship entirely. Others could still lose his Israeli citizenship, but would be given a status equivalent to foreign workers.

The bill also states that someone convicted of posing threats to Israel's security would lose their rights to all allowances, including child allowances or welfare.

On Monday, Israeli MPs also voted 29 to 8 for a bill to block the stipend of fellow lawmaker Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel amid allegations accusing him of a series of crimes against Israel's security.

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