Netanyahu will advance a place to increase employment and housing construction for the Druze community in order to mend the rift over the new nation-state law.
By: World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday at the IDF’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv with leaders of the Druze community who have criticized as discriminatory the nation-state law passed last week, which defines Israel as a Jewish State.
To calm their anger over the bill, Netanyahu announced he would put together a program that will improve conditions for Israel’s Druze citizens.
Netanyahu did not say he would amend the legislation, despite calls by Israeli lawmakers, including Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, to do so.
In attendance at the meeting were Ministers Yariv Levin, Moshe Kahlon, Avigdor Liberman and Ayoub Kara, himself a Druze who has been receiving death threats over his support for the law. They were joined by Druze Members of Knesset (MK) Akram Hasson and Hamad Amar.
MK Salah Sa’ad, who along with Hasson and Amar petitioned the High Court of Justice against the new law, was not present.
Upon concluding the meeting, Netanyahu announced that “a plan will be formulated that will express the deep commitment of the State of Israel to the Druze community.”
Netanyahu’s office said the meeting was “pragmatic and positive.”
The prime minister is slated to meet on Friday with Druze leader Sheikh Mawafak Tarif and other dignitaries from the community.
One-hundred Druze IDF officers in reserves, many of them with a rich record of fighting in Israel’s various wars over the years, have joined the protest against the law this week, Ynet reported.
“I don’t understand why this law is necessary. Is somebody questioning the fact that the country is Jewish? This law only creates second-class citizens,” Brig. Gen. (res.) Imad Fares stated.
Minister of Education and strong supporter of the law Naftali Bennett took to Twitter Tuesday to say the government “has a responsibility to heal the rift” with its Druze citizens after representatives of the community slammed the legislation as hurting their basic rights.