Hebrew desired as only 'official language'

Aug. 4, 2011 at 8:39 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Some Israeli lawmakers have proposed making Hebrew the only official language in Israel, dropping English and Arabic, officials said.

English and Arabic are currently accepted as official languages in Israel, Haaretz reported Thursday.

The lawmakers' bill would give Arabic "special status" and says Arabic speakers "have the right to linguistic access to the services of the state, as determined by law."

The bill would also make democratic rule subservient to the Israel's definition as the "national home for the Jewish people," Haaretz reported.

One of the bill's sponsors, Zeev Elkin, said the proposed law would also give courts legal arguments supporting "the state as the Jewish nation state in ruling in situations in which the Jewish character of the state clashes with its democratic character."

Additionally, the bill calls on the state to "act to in-gather the exiles of Israel and [further] Jewish settlement within it, and allocate resources to this end."

Elkin said he isn't concerned about how the bill would affect Israel's international image.

"If we were talking about the world in which the United Nations equates Zionism with racism, there might be a problem. But today, the world is ready to accept this," Elkin said.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories