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Nationality law makes Israel's Druze second-class citizens

The Druze community in Israel has condemned the Jewish Nationality Law, which effectively demotes them to second-class citizens despite their military and other service to Israel.

Israel's Nationality Law has elicited an angry reaction from the country's small Druze community, which feels betrayed. The law officially declares Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people and makes Hebrew the sole official language, downgrading Arabic, which had previously also been recognized as an official language. In short, it relegates non-Jews, including the Druze — who serve in the Israeli military and have paid the ultimate price in Israel’s military conflicts and occupation — to being second-class citizens.

Yusri Khaizaran, a lecturer in modern Middle East history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, noted the deep roots of the Druze in the Galilee, in northern Israel/Palestine. “The Druze have been here from more than 1,000 years, and they are an integral part of the cultural community in the Galilee,” he told Al-Monitor. According to the law, the right to self-determination for the Jews applies to the “Land of Israel,” whose borders are undefined.

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