Orthodox Offer Compromise Version of Anti-racist Bill

The Orthodox lobby in the Knesset, opposed to a pending bill against racism, has come up with a compromise version that would outlaw acts against ethnic or religious minorities without specifically using the term racism.

The religious parties oppose the original bill on grounds that its broad formulations could be used to prosecute religious dogmas and practices. In that connection they note that halacha does, in a non-pejorative sense, discriminate against gentiles by positing a clear-cut distinction between Jews and gentiles.

The anti-racism law is a direct response to the philosophy and activities of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s extremist Kach Party, which advocates the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel and the administered territories, and would make intermarriage or intercourse between Jews and Arabs a criminal offense.

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