Ayelet Shaked (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post).
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked met with Druze leaders and activists on Friday morning to try and bridge the gaps created through the Nation-State law, yet the meeting did not conclude well when Shaked announced that the law would not be changed.
Shaked turned to dozens of members of the Druze community who came to the meeting, and assured them that they have full and equal civil rights, insisting that the Nation-State law does not express anything else than the Jewish and democratic character of the country.
"We do not see a real difference," Shaked told them. "We are for civil equality, and in Israel we do not have citizens of first class and second class."
Shaked admitted that it is clear the law created a rift with the Druze community, but aimed to mend that rift by explaining that the law does not take away any rights from any citizen and that it was necessary to legislate it for the purpose of balancing the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel.
But when Shaked said the Nation-State law would not be amended, people started interrupting her and shouted furiously.
The justice minister further tried to calm the tension by saying that separate legislation could be passed to ensure the rights of the Druze community, but that did not seem to pass well either.
Ultimately the meeting did not seem to end well as Shaked was accused of lying by angry activists when she again insisted that Jews and Druze are Israelis alike and that every citizen of the State of Israel enjoys the same civil rights.
Saleh Sa'ad, a Druze MK on behalf of Labor, called for Shaked to step down in light of the clash.
"Minister Shaked is responsible for enacting the racist and despicable Nation-State law that makes us, the Druze and the minorities in Israel, second class citizens," Sa'ad wrote. "She refuses to amend this law, as she announced this morning to my fellow Druze activists, which proves how unworthy and out of control of her office she is. It is preferable that she resign immediately."
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