World, Middle East

Israel-Druze army officer quits over ‘Nation-State Law’

Approved by the Knesset last week, law describes Israel as ‘nation-state of the Jewish people’

30.07.2018
Israel-Druze army officer quits over ‘Nation-State Law’

JERUSALEM

A Druze officer in the Israeli military has quit his post to protest a recently passed “Nation-State Law” that describes Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted on social-media platforms, Israeli-Druze Army Captain Amir Jmall called on Druze leaders to work toward ending compulsory military service for Israel’s non-Jewish Druze community.

“Why do I have to serve the State of Israel -- a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication…,” Jmall wrote in the letter, sections of which were quoted by Haaretz.

“In the end, what do we get?” Jmall asks. “To be second-class citizens.” 

The controversial legislation, approved last week by the Knesset (Israel's parliament), has angered Israel’s sizeable Druze community, members of which have long served in Israel’s military.

An Arabic-speaking ethnic group which adheres to its own monotheistic faith, Israel’s Druze -- estimated at some 120,000 people -- are concentrated largely in the country’s northern regions. 

Unlike Israel’s Arab Muslim and Christian minorities, Druze men typically serve in the Israeli military and generally consider themselves loyal citizens of the state.

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