The Israeli Knesset is no stranger to controversy, feisty debates and at times ill-tempered behaviour by its members, but rarely are domestic frictions laid bare so shamelessly in front of a foreign dignitary. The British Prime Minister David Cameron, who endures some tough times himself in the House of Commons, witnessed during his last week’s visit to the Knesset some of the aftershocks of a deeply polarising vote on legislation that took place a day before his visit. In the wake of the decision by the opposition to stay absent from the vote, the government secured a big majority in support of three pieces of legislation, seemingly unrelated to one another, yet all with massive impact on the future character of the country and its people. The legislation would leave Israel more fragmented, less pluralistic and the prospect of making peace with her neighbours ostensibly a near impossible task.
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Legislation which will end in reducing the Arab representation in the Israeli elected body is irresponsible and dangerousYossi Mekelberg