Israel Cabinet committee pushing bill to downgrade Arabic, make Hebrew lone official language

Jerusalem: An Israeli Cabinet committee is pushing forward a bill that downgrades Arabic as an official language of the country.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted on Sunday to present the controversial "nation-state bill" that states "the right to realise self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people."

The bill has to pass several rounds of legislation in parliament for it to become law. Critics charge that, if passed, it could undermine Israel's balance of being both a Jewish and democratic state by harming the rights of the country's minorities.

Currently, both Hebrew and Arabic are Israel's national languages. The bill states that Hebrew would be the lone national and downgrades Arabic to "a special status in the state" whose "speakers have the right to language-accessible state services."

Updated Date: May 07, 2017 19:15 PM

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