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Israel passes a law facilitating citizenship cancellation for "terrorists"

Denounced by civil rights advocates as a threat to the Arab minority, Israel's parliament passes a law expanding the possibility of depriving citizens of their nationality

Khaled Barakat , Sunday 3 Apr 2011
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
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Israel has passed a law facilitating the process of cancelling citizenship, in a move condemned as a threat to the Arab minority in Israel. This amendment is the so-called "Law of Nationality", the latest move in a list of recent parliamentary procedures that have been denounced by civil rights advocates as non-democratic, but which Israeli jurists believe are necessary to defend the "Jewish state."

This law allows judges to take Israeli nationality from any person who is convicted of spying, or who commits acts of violence for national motivations.

The official explanatory note said that the law aims to "expand the possibility of deprivation of nationality and the authorization of the court which condemned any person convicted for committing crimes of terrorism or to strip him of citizenship."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman described this step as a victory, saying he had made a pledge to voters to suppress "any citizen who is biased to the enemy."

The Civil Rights Association criticized the law, saying that it "sends degrading and discriminatory massage to Israeli Arabs, that citizenship is not automatic."

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