Coalition to advance ‘citizenship law’ despite objection from Meretz

Ministers agree to advance a bid led by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to renew Israel’s so-called citizenship law, which prevents Palestinians who marry Israelis from living with their spouses in Israel.

The decision comes despite the opposition of the coalition’s left-wing Meretz party, whose leader, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, yesterday labeled the law “racist” and vowed to vote against the legislation to renew it.

The vote is seen as a crucial test for the diverse coalition, after it failed to pass an earlier version of the bill last year. While the right-wing parties in the opposition all support the legislation in principle, they voted against it at the time in order to embarrass the government.

Shaked says the law will come up for a Knesset vote later this week. Without Meretz’s support — and likely also without the support of the coalition’s Islamist Ra’am party — it will again require opposition votes to pass.

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