Netanyahu assures Israelis: Nation-state law does not hurt minority rights

Prime Minister Netanyahu promised that the recently passed nation-state law would not hurt minority rights in Israel. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Sunday that passage of the nation-state law would not hurt minority rights in Israel.

“The State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Individual rights are anchored in many laws including Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. “Nobody has harmed – and nobody intends to harm – these individual rights.”

Netanyahu’s statement, released by his spokesman’s office, was made a day after tens of thousands, in a Druze-led protest, gathered at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to protest the nation-state law, claiming it undermined the human rights of minorities in Israel.

Netanyahu rejected claims that the law was unnecessary and did more harm than good.

“Without the nation-state law it will be impossible to ensure for [future] generations the future of Israel as a Jewish national state,” he declared.

“The nation-state law, first of all, entrenches the Law of Return. It raises it to another level, and this law, of course, grants an automatic right to Jews, and only to them, to come here and receive citizenship.

“The nation-state law, for example, prevents the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which very, very many Palestinians have been absorbed into the country since the Oslo agreement, and this law helps prevent the continued uncontrolled entry into Israel of Palestinians. It could be that this law will also be able to assist us in blocking the future entry of labor migrants.

“These and other things are happening because the laws of the state anchored in basic laws only individual rights without any constitutional balance vis-à-vis our national component; therefore, we legislated the nation-state law in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel as a state that is not only democratic but as the national state of the Jewish people and of it alone. This is necessary not only for our generation but for the coming generations.”

Netanyahu restated the State of Israel’s commitment to protecting the rights of the Druze community.

“The deep bond between the Druze community and our commitment to it are also essential; therefore, today we will establish a special ministerial committee to advance this bond and this commitment and at the same time will appreciate those of all religions and all ethnic communities who serve in the IDF and the security forces,” he said.