Zouheir Bahloul, a member of Knesset from the Zionist Union who resigned yesterday over the Nation-State Law, said he might not even vote for his own party in the next elections, in an interview with Army Radio Sunday morning.Bahloul saved the brunt of his criticism for Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay. "The worst response was from my party leader, who prayed for this moment and gave I gave it to him on a golden platter," Bahloul said." He should at least have expressed regret for my departure.""It is too early to say whether I will vote for the Zionist Union or not," he added.
The Knesset passed the controversial Nation-State Law last week. The Basic Law, which has an authority equivalent to that of a constitutional amendment, declares Israel to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. It anchors in law the state’s menorah emblem, Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, national holidays and the right of all Israeli residents to preserve their heritage without consideration of religion and nationality.Israel's Druze community, who serve in the IDF, have reacted particularly strongly to the law's apparent exclusion of and discrimination against Israel's non-Jewish citizens. Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, the Druze spiritual leader also responded harshly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of Druze demands to change the Jewish Nation-State Law at a meeting with Druze leaders Friday.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), and Ministerial Liason to the Knesset Yariv Levin (Likud) participated in the meeting, as did three Druze politicians: Communications Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud), MK Hamed Amar (Yisrael Beytenu), and MK Akram Hasson (Kulanu). Netanyahu and Levin tried to persuade those present that nothing in the law hurts their sector, and expressed his willingness to pass new laws and initiate new programs to help the Druze when the Knesset returns from its extended summer recess October 14."The law leaves me half-hearted," Tarif said. "I love this country, but it make us inferior citizens. If the government does not come to its senses, there will be serious consequences."Former MK Yael Dayan signed a petition against the Law, stating, "this is not a matter of right or left. The Declaration of Independence is in danger."Lt. Col. Samih Halabi, a former company commander in the IDF, also lamented the passage of the Nation-State Law, encouraging the leaders of the Druze struggle to "go to Jerusalem and ask that they cancel it completely; there is no 'creative solution' to this law of betrayal"Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
Knesset passes controversial Jewish nation-state bill into law, July 19, 2018 (Reuters)