Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Druze army vets campaign against Israel's Jewish state law

Druze army vets campaign against Israel's Jewish state law

Greenberg addressed critics of the law who say that it infringes on religious freedom, saying that the law "relates only to the national rights of the Jewish people and does not address religious questions or prescribe an official religion".

Article 7 "marks Arab citizens - wherever they may be - as "the other" and the state must therefore discriminate in the allocation of land, housing, budgets and incentives, and land planning and zoning".

The petition argued that by declaring Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people alone, the law excludes the rights of its Arab citizens who make up around 20 percent of the population.

An NGO that represents Israel's Arab minority petitioned Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday against a controversial "Jewish Nation-State" law approved last month by Israel's parliament.

"In a almost 60-page document, the petitioners call on the Israeli Supreme Court to annul the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law, which is racist legislation that contradicts all norms of global law", the statement reads.

She said that while Hebrew has been defined by Basic Law as the official state language, the new law for the first time enshrines Arabic as a language with "special status", and notes the law also states that "the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect will not be harmed".

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Druze army vets campaign against Israel's Jewish state law - 8/8/2018 1:33:38 AM

The petition says that the law is "racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights and contravenes worldwide human rights norms, especially those forbidding laws that constitute a racist constitution". "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents".

On 19 July 2018, the Israeli Knesset voted 62 to 55 to approve the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law that constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy and the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. It has prompted particular outrage from Israel's Druze minority, whose members say the law's provisions render them second-class citizens.

Some of the criticism [of the law] is justified; a law that manages to unite virtually the entire Druze community against it, despite this community's longstanding support for Israel as a Jewish state in principle, clearly wasn't drafted with sufficient care, as even the heads of two parties that backed the law-Jewish Home's Naftali Bennett and Kulanu's Moshe Kaḥlon-now admit.

Tens of thousands of Druze and their supporters rallied in central Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the legislation. It is at least the thirds challenge filed with the Supreme Court over the law.

"The real question is who is for and who is against the Declaration of Independence, and why is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Declaration of Independence?" The law has stirred calls for that to end.

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