Knesset hears loyalty law

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An Israeli bill requiring new lawmakers to swear allegiance to Zionist values passed a first reading. Legislation tabled Wednesday would rephrase the oath taken by new Knesset members so that they pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.” The bill, which appeared to come in response to the increasingly vocal anti-Zionism of Israeli Arab lawmakers, is unlikely to be ratified, given the ideological divisions in the plenum. A second bill, which passed first reading Wednesday, would prevent the transfer of sovereign Israeli land to a foreign government, a bid to forestall talks on returning the Golan Heights to Syria.

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