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February 25, 2014 1:32 pm

Israeli-Christians Legally Granted National Identity Separate From Muslim Arabs

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Likud MK Yariv Levin, pictured, has been the main proponent of a bill that would allow the Israeli government to legally recognize Arab Christians as a separately national identity. That bill has now passed in the Knesset. Photo: Reuven Kapuchinski.

JNS.orgA bill that allows the Israeli government to legally recognize Arab- Christians as a separate national identity for the first time has passed the Israeli Knesset.

The law, which passed 31-6 on its third reading, allows Arab-Christians to identify solely as Christian, separate from the larger Arab community, which is mainly Muslim, and gives them their own representation on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity in the Employment Commission.

“This is a historic law. It’s the first time there is separate representation for Christians,” said Likud MK Yariv Levin, who serves as whip of Israel’s governing coalition and crafted the legislation, The Jerusalem Post reported. “Soon we’ll expand on this and give [Christians] all the separate representation they deserve.”

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