Coalition Pushes for Special Status Legislation for Druze Community

By Aryeh Stern

Druze residents hand out food to IDF soldiers who guard on a road near the border with Lebanon, on Oct. 9. (David Cohen/Flash90)

The coalition has announced plans to introduce a basic law aimed at granting the Druze community special status in the country.

This move comes following the participation of Druze members in the front lines against Hamas and the tragic loss of Druze soldiers during the conflict.

However, the proposed bill will not nullify the 2018 Nation State law, which designates Israel as the national home of Jews, sparking concerns about potential discrimination against non-Jewish sectors within Israel.

MK Ofir Katz, the coalition whip, expressed the intention to introduce the Druze community foundation law in the near future, emphasizing its significance in acknowledging the vital role of the Druze community within Israel. The legislation is expected to build upon previous proposals with some modifications.

The Druze community, known for its high rate of military service, especially within the IDF, has often felt marginalized despite its loyalty to the state. While lacking a separate nation-state to express its identity, the community seeks to preserve its unique religious and sectarian traits. The proposed law aims to solidify the Druze community’s position within Israel while upholding the country’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas), acknowledging the commitment of Druze citizens, highlighted the government’s responsibility to better recognize and honor the Druze community’s contributions. Recent casualties in the conflict further underline the sacrifices made by Druze soldiers, reinforcing the community’s plea for acknowledgment and fair treatment within the country.

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