How one minority group could undermine Israel’s new Jewish identity law

Source: Los Angeles Times


Barely a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won passage of a controversial measure underscoring his country’s Jewish identity, the coalition that helped him pass the legislation by a narrow margin is starting to fray.


The law defines Israel as “the historic homeland of the Jewish people,” who have “a singular right to national self-determination within it.” It diminishes the status of Arabic, which previously had equal status with Hebrew as one of the country’s two official languages but now has an undefined “special status.”

The law also asserts that “the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

Although the law was initially applauded by most of Israel’s right wing, that began to change when hard-line Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that “the manner in which the nation-state law was enacted was very damaging” to the country’s Druze minority.

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