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Druze Deputies to Appeal Israel’s Adoption of ‘Nation-State’ Law

Druze Deputies to Appeal Israel’s Adoption of ‘Nation-State’ Law

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 10:15
Members of the Druze community in Israel. (AP)

The three Druze deputies in the Israeli Knesset announced that they intend to appeal to the Supreme Court the adoption of the controversial nation-state law.

They will submit the appeal in coordination with the Druze Lawyers' Forum and heads of local Druze and Circassian authorities.

A statement on the issue was signed by Akram Hasson, from the Kulanu party, Hamad Amar, of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, and Salah Saad, a member of the Zionist union party. All three of the deputies had voted against the law that was adopted last week.

Hasson asked: “We have no problem with the Jewish people, nor do we have a problem with Israel being the home of the Jewish people, but what about us? What about those who sacrificed for the establishment of the state and fought for it?”

“The law of nationalism makes us second-class citizens, even though we as citizens suffer discrimination in planning, construction, education, budgets and other fields. Now they are enacting the law of nationalism that widens the gap between the sect on the one hand and the Jews on the other.”

Arab Druze represent 9 percent of the Arab citizens in Israel and are often victim of racist discrimination.

Except for Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, the Druze lawmakers and other Arab ministers from the opposition and coalition parties voted against the law.

The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the European Union and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority and Arab citizens of Israel as racist legislation.

It declares that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country. It stipulates that "Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it".

The bill also removes Arabic as an official language alongside Hebrew, downgrading it to a "special status" that enables its continued use in Israeli institutions.

Israel's Arab citizens number some 1.8 million, about 20 percent of the 9 million population.

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