The coalition made a significant announcement on Saturday night regarding the "Basic Law of the Druze Community," aimed at granting the Druze community a special status within Israel, while not altering the fundamental nature of the nationality law, which has been a source of division within Druze society due to its strict definition of Israel as a Jewish state. This decision comes amidst an ongoing conflict, which tragically highlighted the injustices faced by the Druze community, as six of its sons lost their lives in the battles.
Ofir Katz, the chairman of the coalition, stated, "In the coming days, we will advance the draft law on the Basic Law of the Druze community, which aims to firmly establish the important position of the Druze community in the State of Israel."
6 חללים מאז פרוץ מלחמת חרבות ברזל, אבל כבד בעדה הדרוזית 💔— רביע באדר (@rabea_bader) November 18, 2023
כלום יצאו ב 07 לאוקטובר להילחם על הבית, זה היה ברור וזה היה טבעי.
עוד מאות לוחמים דרוזים פרוסים גם עכשיו בחזית, כי זה טבעי להם להילחם על הבית.
מדינת ישראל חייבת להם את שינוי חוק הלאום, כי זה גם הבית שלהם, שלנו! pic.twitter.com/YwmDqmyPx8
The proposed bill will be based on previous versions, some of which have undergone slight modifications. The rationale behind this initiative is rooted in the recognition of the Druze community's unique role in supporting and contributing to the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people since its inception.
Unlike many other minority groups, the Druze community lacks its own nation-state where they can freely practice their religious and sectarian affiliations. This sense of belonging is crucial for preserving the distinctive aspects of the Druze community, primarily rooted in its unique and closed religion. The primary objective of the bill is to enshrine the Druze community's place within the State of Israel while simultaneously upholding Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people. It also acknowledges the right of Druze citizens to preserve the distinctive characteristics of their community and maintain their independent identity.
Recently, Minister of Welfare Yaakov Margi addressed this issue during a ceremony commemorating fallen Druze soldiers, Salman Habka and Lt. Col. Elim Abdullah, who lost their lives in battles in the Gaza Strip and the northern border. Margi emphasized the need to find a balanced and inclusive language that would grant meaningful recognition to the Druze community within the nationality law. He stated, "This will be the sign of the covenant - the amendment of the nationality law."
Two Israeli Druze soldiers - Sergeant Adi Malek Harb from Beit Jann and Major Jamal Anan Abbas from Peki'in - were killed in battles in Gaza, defending the people and state of Israel.— Yonatan Gonen (@GonenYonatan) November 18, 2023
May their memory be a blessing 🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/EptPnK8C5p
Margi further added, "We did not make a blood covenant; we made a life covenant! And in this covenant, there is one party that fulfills its part time and time again with blood and sweat." He expressed his longstanding discomfort with the perceived unfairness faced by the Druze community, both as a government member and a longtime member of the Knesset. He stressed the importance of addressing these issues in various aspects, including housing, land, employment, and, most significantly, in the context of the nationality law.