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Fareed speaks with Naftali Bennett, economic minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet and the leader of the Jewish Home party, about a proposed Jewish nation state law. Watch the video for the full interview.
OK, I've got to ask you about this new proposed law in Israel, which would specify that Israel is a nation for Jews. That, in a sense, would give being Jewish a kind of privileged status. There are a number of people within Israel, there are a number of American Jewish supporters of Israel who believe that this is a terrible mistake. What do you believe?
It's been distorted. It's really simple. Israel is a democratic state and a Jewish state. It's the state of the Jewish people, of the Jewish nation. Now, we don't have a constitution, but about 20 years ago, the constitution has begun to get formed by piecemeal, by a law-by-law.
So we only have the democratic side legislated. So the idea is that to rebalance it so it's both a democratic state and a Jewish state. We will continue to provide full equal rights to all Arabs in Israel. In fact, I'm...
But what does it mean to an Israeli-Arab who is a citizen of Israel to have in the constitution it say that Israel is, you know, a state principally for Jews, that its character, its identity...
…is one that they can never partake in.
No, they can partake in it, but they have to understand that if they desire to have their own state within a state, that's unacceptable, because they have 23 countries. The Arabs have 23 states. We only have one. In fact, in the whole world, the Jews only have one state and that's all we need. But it's got to be the Jewish state.