Jewish, or Democratic? The True Aim of Israel’s ‘Nation-State’ Law

Druze Spiritual Leader Sheik Mowafaq Tafik, center, at a rally against a contentious new law that critics say sidelines Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner).
Druze Spiritual Leader Sheik Mowafaq Tafik, center, at a rally against a contentious new law that critics say sidelines Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018 (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner).
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After it was ratified by the Knesset on July 19, Israel’s so-called nation-state bill, designed to define the state more exclusively on ethnically Jewish lines, joined the short list of Basic Laws that make up the country’s ersatz constitution. A photo of grinning Knesset members from the right-wing Likud party, commemorating the occasion by gathering for a selfie around a smirking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quickly went viral. It took a few days for the smiles to fade, as leading members of Netanyahu’s coalition began to experience buyer’s remorse. Much to their surprise, Israel’s ethnic minorities—specifically, the Druze community, renowned […]

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