A hundred Druze IDF reserve officers joined Wednesday a petition against the Nation State Law law filed earlier this week by Druze community leaders and MKs. The plaintiffs have asked the asked the High Court of Justice to strike down all or part of the law passed July 19 as unconstitutional.
“The Nation-State Law places Druze outside the fence,” Brig. Gen (res) Amal Assad, one of the reserve officers who signed the petition, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “The State of Israel is a Jewish state, we don’t have any problem with that. But I served this country for 26 years in the army and have the right to demand that it belongs to me just as it belongs to the Jews. We cannot be inferior to the ultra-Orthodox,” Assad continued.
The Nation-State Law stipulates that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that “the right to realize national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” The bill also enshrines the Israeli flag and the national anthem into law along with Jerusalem as the state’s eternal capital, as well as defining Hebrew as the country’s only official state language, relegating Arabic to a ‘special status.’
The petitioners seek to nullify the law and to prevent its publication in the state’s Official Gazette, whereby it officially becomes law. They argue that the law violates fundamental rights such as the right to equality, and doesn’t give equal status to non-Jewish minorities.
According to the petition, the Nation-State Law ignores the Druze minority and the Arab minority in general and violates the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
“Arabic is our language, a democratic state should protect the minorities and not hurt them,” Farid Ghanem, former head of the Council of the Druze Town Maghar, told TPS. “The Nation-State Law put together all the racist laws that already existed and made them Basic Laws.”
The Druze leaders will organize a major protest in the upcoming days, together with Jews and Arabs.
“This law damages the future of Israel as a democratic state, Jews Arabs Druze and Circassians should protest together,” Ghanem said.
Jewish Home leader and Minister of Education Naftali Bennett tweeted in response that the Druze are blood brothers and the government must take steps to heal the rift.
“After talking with many of our Druze brothers, the way the Nation-State Law was legislated offended them of all people who tie their fate to the Jewish state.” Bennett tweeted. “This, of course, is not the intention of the Israeli government. These are our blood brothers who stand shoulder to shoulder with us on the battlefield .. It is incumbent on us the government of Israel to find a way to heal the rift.”
Written by Mara Vigevani/TPS | Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS
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