Israel’s Druze Renew Calls to Amend Nation State Law

YERUSHALAYIM

The Druze community, as well as some Israeli politicians, on Sunday renewed calls to amend the controversial Nation State Law, which they say discriminates against the non-Jewish citizens of Israel.

The government passed the Nation State Law in 2018 amid state’s criticism that it targets Israel’s Arab speaking minority.

The calls from community leaders shortly after the IDF revealed the identity of a special op’s commander – Mahmoud Kehir el-Din from the Druze village of Hurfeish – who died in a botched intelligence operation in Gaza four years ago.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hailed him as a hero who dedicated his life to the security of Israel.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said it was the time for legislators from all sides of the political spectrum to consider amending the controversial legislation.

“There is a distinct gap between the Nation State Law as it was passed, and the praise given to the heroic Mahmoud Kehir el-Din,” Liberman said.

“This is the opportunity to amend the law and make the Declaration of Independence part of the Basic Law. I call on the coalition and opposition alike to reconsider their position on the Druze community beyond naming them ‘brothers in arms,’ and to do the right thing,” Liberman said.

On social media, Druze citizens called on Liberman to take action to change the law, which they say is offensive to the community that have traditionally served in the IDF.

On Sunday, Druze religious leader Sheikh Moafaq Tarif called on all Knesset factions to act together to amend the law based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

“I would like to believe and hope that elected leaders on the right, left and center, will rise above their differences to heal an open wound,” he said.

Blue and White faction chair MK Eitan Ginzburg said a bill to make the Declaration of Independence into a Basic Law can be ready for a vote in the ministerial committee as early as Sunday.

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