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.