Mass protest in Israel over ‘discriminating’ nation-state law

Mass protest in Israel over ‘discriminating’ nation-state law

Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against Israel's controversial nation-state law Saturday in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.

But unlike other Arab Israelis, who are mainly exempt from military service, Druze are drafted into the conscript army and widely active in mainstream governance and media, some rising high in the political and military ranks.

"The nation-state law comes to state the obvious: the founding principles on which Israel was established, principles that unfortunately are being eroded, time and again, in High Court rulings that have turned this country from a nation-state of the Jewish people to a state of all its citizens, all its [African] infiltrators", he told Army Radio.

"We gathered here all of the Israeli citizens to change the bad law for the Israeli country, for the state of Israel, for the Jewish people, and for all the minorities, Brigadier General reservist Amal Assad told the protesters".

Critics and members of the state's Palestinian minority - which constitutes 20 percent of Israel - have likened the law to apartheid.

"Just as we fight for the existence and security of the state so we are determined to fight together for the character and right to live in it in equality and dignity", Tarif was quoted by Reuters as saying. The new law also downgrades Arabic from an official language in Israel to a language with "special status".

According to the plan submitted by the prime minister's representatives, "the law will recognise the contribution of the Druze community to the security of the state, and will include support for community institutions (religion, education and culture), will strengthen Druze residential settlements, and establish new towns if needed".

During the Saturday demonstration, protesters chanted "equality" while waving colorful Druze flags. "From this rally, with joint hands and hearts, we go forward for many more years of joint life in Israel in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence".

Meghan Markle's birthday: Duchess of Sussex celebrates FIRST birthday as a royal
A vehicle believed to be owned by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex , is now on the market to the tune of over $93,000. He continued: " Princess Diana is credited with changing the Royal Family , but she wasn't flawless ".

They say the legislation passed last month makes them "second-class" citizens.

Netanyahu also vowed to address what he has described as the Druze community's legitimate concerns.

Netanyahu said the "deep connection with the Druze community" was essential and that a ministerial committee would "advance the connection and these commitments".

"If you now define me not as citizens of the state, how can I give any more or feel like I belong to this country, or stand up and sing the national anthem with pride?"

Several Druze military officers recently said they would stop serving in response to it, sparking fears of widespread insubordination.

Many Jewish Israelis, however, have criticized the law, including the country's president, Reuven Rivlin.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 2r, meets with the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Muafak Tarif, 2l, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 27, 2018.

Related Articles