The basic law titled "Israel the nation state of the Jewish People" first presented on July 22, 2013, was passed by the Knesset in its third reading on July 18, 2018, following five years of parliamentary debate and non-substantial amendments. The bill was discussed by the Israeli media, human rights institutions, law professors, as well as MKs several times during this period. The initial proposal came from a Kadima MK, Avi Dichter, previously director of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency - Shabak), and was supported by a group of right-wing parties. Ultimately however, the law passed after Benjamin Netanyahu personally adopted it, in his alliance with Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home Party, which represents the extremist nationalist religious trend in the Knesset and Israeli society. At the top of the Home Party's agenda are "national missions" such as the new legislation, other legislations concerning the "Jewishness" of the state, and the renewal of the Zionist settler project by encouraging unrestrained building of settlements in the occupied territories. The party is also home to right wing extremist and justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who submitted her own proposal for the new legislation. The final bill is thus an amalgamation of the various proposals and amendments.
This paper looks to the final draft and the background of the law, without delving into all the proposals that have been "softened" to camouflage the racism ingrained in the final version. This was mostly done for the sake of Israel's international reputation, in order to circumvent legal challenges, and the satisfaction of the Israeli judiciary and Attorney General. Although the style and structure of the bill has seen minor changes over time, the background and motives of the main proponents, as well as the law's sponsors, no doubt remain the same.