A group of Israeli academicians, artists and intellectuals have staged a protest concerning the approval of a loyalty oath by Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet.
Israeli ministers on Sunday approved a controversial bill that would obligate non-Jewish citizenship applicants to pledge allegiance to a "Jewish and democratic state of Israel."
Shortly after the cabinet approval, artists and intellectuals staged a march in Tel Aviv, warning that Israel is becoming a fascist entity.
Among those participating in the demonstration were members of the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – including Dov Henin, Nitzan Horowitz, Daniel Ben-Simon, and Eitan Cabel.
The protesters said they were "embarrassed" by those who represent them in the cabinet.
Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi accused Tel Aviv of having "turned into the stooge of Yisrael Beiteinu [the political party] and its fascist doctrine."
"There is no country in the world that forces its citizens or those naturalizing to swear their loyalty to ideology or a sectarian obligation," Tibi continued. "Israel is proving that it is not egalitarian and is in fact democratic for Jews and Jewish for Arabs."
According to Professor Yaron Ezrachi Israel is deteriorating from the vision of a democratic state to a fascist state.
"Our children will either leave this terrible place, be put in jail or fight in the streets," Ynet news website quoted him as telling a crowd of protesters outside the Eretz Israel Museum.
"It is very easy to incite a people such as ours, which fears for its security and is uncertain of its identity," Ezrachi went on to say.
The professor further condemned Shas chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai over the bill, saying he "should swear he is willing to accept the Supreme Court’s authority before asking us to pledge allegiance to a Jewish state."
Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk also lashed out at Yishai, saying he "completely ignored 350,000 people who signed a petition against moving to Winter Time. If we don’t take matters into our own hands, we will be destroyed."
"We must rebel against these laws," the Israeli author noted.
Head of the opposition party Kadima, Tzipi Livni, said the idea of a loyalty oath indicates that Israeli politics stands at its worst.
"The delicate and important topic of a Jewish and democratic state has turned into commercialized politics, and it is totally unnecessary," Livni stated.