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Catholic World News

Synod bishops raps Israeli plan for citizenship oath to Jewish state

October 11, 2010

During the opening session of the Middle East Synod on October 11, two prelates criticized a new proposal by the government of Israel that would require new citizens to swear allegiance to a “Jewish and democratic state.”

Maronite Catholic Bishop Bechara Rai of Jbeil, Lebanon observed that such an oath would define Israel as a “sectarian” state in which Christians would be “second-class citizens”

Patriarch Antonios Naguib of the Coptic Catholic Church referred to the proposal as a “massive contradiction,” because a democratic state should not require such an oath. It is doubly inappropriate, he said, because Israel regularly identifies itself as the only democratic state in the Middle East.


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