Israeli leader vows to pass contentious nationality law, but vote in doubt

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JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister has vowed to pass a contentious nationality law, but is leaving the door open to negotiations to soften the language.

Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his Likud Party on Monday that he is determined to pass the legislation.

The bill seeks to define Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people in the country's de facto constitution. But opponents say that some of the language is illegal or racist, and undercuts Israel's democratic character.

Earlier, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned that passing the bill could topple the governing coalition and force early elections.

Officials said they were working toward delaying a scheduled vote on Wednesday for at least a week.

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