Thousands of demonstrations clashed briefly with guards outside jerusalem's Knesset (Parliament) yesterday (Monday). They were?
Thousands of demonstrations clashed briefly with guards outside jerusalem's Knesset (Parliament) yesterday (Monday). They were protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir's handling of a new law defining Jewishness.
Left-wing movements organised the demonstration, together with leading intellectuals and artists -- including popular Israeli actor Dahn ben Amotz. Inside the building, the Knesset was debating the controversial Bill, which seeks to define Jewishness according to traditional religious criteria.
An estimated 3,000 people took part in the demonstration. Many carried placards condemning the Prime Minister's action and the baste with which the Bill was being rushed through Parliament.
As the crowd surged towards the Knesset building, guards moved forward to prevent their advance. For some time the two sides milled around the building, but there was no violence.
The government Bill seeks to give legal standing to the traditional religious definition of a Jew -- which is based on the Jewishness of a person's mother. Under religious law, Jewish religion and nationality are inseparable.
It also ensures, however, that the non-Jewish partner in a mixed marriage, and the children of such a union, will aitp,atoca;;u receive Israeli nationality on immigration to Israel.