An MK has resigned from Knesset and leaders of the Druse community have been up in arms over the passage of the Nationality Law. However, since the outcry against the law, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has met with Druse community leaders to mend fences, and Bayit Yehudi party chairman, Minister Naftali Bennet, who is also a member of the Security Cabinet, apologized to the Druse community, explaining the law is being taken out of context and misinterpreted. He did acknowledge the need to amend the current language of the law however.
Nevertheless, members of the Knesset opposition in particular refuse to put the matter to rest, preferring to use it as political ammunition to incite the Druse community and others against the current administration.
PM Netanyahu on Sunday, 24 Menachem Av, addressed the media at the opening of the weekly cabinet session, commenting on the law again, as he did at the opening of the previous week’s cabinet meeting.
“Deputy Cabinet Secretary Gabi Golan, you are opening the Cabinet meeting and not Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman because he is in the week of mourning for his mother and all of us here send him and his family our condolences.
“The State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Individual rights are anchored in many laws including Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
“Nobody has harmed – and nobody intends to harm – these individual rights but without the Nation-State Law it will be impossible to ensure for [future] generations the future of Israel as a Jewish national state.
“The Nation-State Law, first of all, entrenches the Law of Return. It raises it to another level and this law, of course, grants an automatic right to Jews, and only to them, to come here and receive citizenship. The Nation-State Law, for example, prevents the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which very, very many Palestinians have been absorbed into the country since the Oslo agreement, and this law helps prevent the continued uncontrolled entry into Israel of Palestinians. It could be that this law will also be able to assist us in blocking the future entry of labor migrants.
“These and other things are happening because the laws of the state anchored in basic laws only individual rights without any constitutional balance vis-à-vis our national component; therefore, we legislated the Nation-State Law in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel as a state that is not only democratic but as the national state of the Jewish people and of it alone. This is necessary not only for our generation but for the coming generations.
“The deep bond between the Druse community and our commitment to it are also essential; therefore, today we will establish a special ministerial committee to advance this bond and this commitment and at the same time will appreciate those of all religions and all ethnic communities who serve in the IDF and the security forces.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)