Israel’s Controversial Land Bill

As highlighted in today's Media Roundup, last week the Knesset (Israel's legislative branch) passed a draft of a controversial bill which would allow the Jewish National Fund -- an organization owning 13 percent of Israeli land -- to discriminate against non-Jewish Israeli citizens in the sale and rent of its land.

With the strong majority in its first reading, the passage of theJNF legislation appears assured, save an unexpected decision by thegovernment to put it on hold.

The bill risks fueling racial tensions between Jews and Israeli-Arabs. According to the CIA factbook, 24 percent of Israel's 6,400,000 inhabitants are non-Jewish. Haaretz, a liberal Israeli daily, condemned the bill in an editorial -- a piece expressing the newspaper's official view:

Every day the Knesset has the option of passing laws that will advance Israel as a democratic Jewish state or turn it into a racist Jewish state. There is a very thin line between the two. This week, the line was crossed.

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