Netanyahu does not budge on Nation-State law despite vocal criticism, demonstration

Netanyahu insists the law has not harmed – nor does anyone intend to harm – the individual rights of minorities living in the country.

Netanyahu reiterates his position on nation state law, says will create special committee for Druze at cabinet meeting, August 5, 2018 (GPO)
The massive demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against the Nation-State Law has not moved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from supporting it, telling the cabinet on Sunday that the law is important for future generations..
 “Without the Nation-State Law, it is impossible to guarantee for future generations that Israel will be the nation-state of the Jews,” he said. He added that the law has not harmed – nor does anyone intend to harm – the individual rights of minorities living in the country.
Netanyahu said that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, and that the democratic nature of the state is anchored in numerous laws, including the Basic Law; Human Dignity and Liberty. The Nation-State Law was necessary to enshrine the Jewish nature of the state, he said.
“The Nation-State Law first of all enshrines the Law of Return, and raises it to another level – that law, of course, gives an automatic right to Jews, and only to them, to immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship,” he said.
The law, he added, “prevents the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which tens of thousands of Palestinians have been absorbed into the country since the Oslo Accords, and this law helps prevent the continued uncontrolled entry into Israel of Palestinians. This law may also help us to block the future entry of labor migrants.”
Regarding the vehement protest of the Druze, Netanyahu said that “the deep ties with the Druze community and our commitment to them are essential,” and as a result “we will set up a special ministerial committee to advance this bond and commitment.”
That committee, which Netanyahu will head, and will include 15 ministers including the ministers of defense, finance, justice, interior and housing, is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Monday.
Netanyahu added that “we will also honor those who serve in the IDF and the security forces of all religions and members of all communities.”
Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, who is Druze, posted on twitter after the cabinet meeting that he is “proud that the prime minister and government are not only making promises, but also fulfilling them.
“From the bitter will come something sweet,” he wrote. “I will continue to serve and care for the wonderful Druze community I am proud to be a part of.”
In a related development, Bedouin representatives on Sunday filed a petition to the Supreme Court against the Nation-State Law, demanding that it be repealed or changed, Channel 2 reported.
According to the petitioners, the law “destroys the most beautiful values in Judaism.”
“We believe that this law is illegal and should be immediately annulled because it completely contradicts the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and the Declaration of Independence.” They said that the most egregious part of the law is that it favors encouragement of Jewish settlement over that of the rest of the country’s citizens.
According to the law, “The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.”