There have been many shouts of condemnation regarding the recently-passed Nationality Law among members of the Knesset opposition and leaders of Israel’s Druse community, a community which participates in the security of Israel, with its males serving in the IDF, Israel Police and Border Police. Leaders of the community are now questioning how such a law can be passed, telling them they are sub-citizens at best despite their loyalty to the nation.
In fact, MK (Machane Tzioni) Zouheir Bahloul quit the Knesset over the weekend in protest over the passing of the law.
However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not apologizing, rather he is explaining. On Sunday, 17 Menachem Av, he met with leaders of the Druse community to explain the realities of the law to them.
Mr. Netanyahu met with Druse leaders along with Ministers Yariv Levin and Ayoub Kara. They met with Druse local council heads as part of the PM’s ongoing talks with community leaders.
Mr. Netanyahu commented, “There are unending attempts to rescind the definition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. We legislated the Nation-State Law in order to ensure that Israel will remain the national state of our people – this is the purpose of the state’s existence. The law does not detract at all from the individual rights of anybody. It is designed to make the necessary legal balance, the time for which has come, in order to ensure the character of the State of Israel.
“You are describing genuine feelings and we must find a solution. I will continue [holding] consultations. We will establish a team led by staff head Yoav Horowitz and we will submit forthwith recommendations for actions that will strengthen the important ties between us.”
Earlier in the day, on Sunday, at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr. Netanyahu did an exemplary job explaining the law, seeking to allay the fears of the Druse and other non-Jewish communities in Israel, assuring them this is simply a statement ratifying Israel is the Jewish State, the Homeland of the Jewish People, but it is still a democracy, and as such, he stated, “We have determined the personal equal rights of Israeli citizens in a series of laws including Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, laws that ensure full equality before the law, beginning with the right to vote and be elected to the Knesset and ending with all other personal rights in the State of Israel…”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem / Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon, GPO)