2 Major Funders Of Israel Join Growing Criticism Of New Nation-State Law by the Forward

2 Major Funders Of Israel Join Growing Criticism Of New Nation-State Law

Image by Getty Images

(JTA) — The Jewish Federations of North America and The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, two organizations that provide major funding to projects in Israel, joined the criticism of Israel’s new nation-state law.

Jewish Federations, which annually donates many millions of dollars to Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, focused its criticism on dissatisfaction with the law among some members of the Druze minority, an Arabic-speaking community where most men serve in the Israeli army.

In a statement Thursday that a spokesperson posted on Facebook, the umbrella group for federations across North America said it stands “shoulder to shoulder with the Druze community” and urges Israeli legislators “to work with the community as soon as possible to address their very real concerns.”

The law, which enshrines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and has quasi-constitutional status, identifies Arabic as a language with “special status.” It says that “the realization of the right to national self-determination is unique to the Jewish People” and “the state will work to ensure the wellbeing of the members of the Jewish People and of its citizens who are in trouble and captivity for their Judaism or citizenship.”

Amal Asad, a Druze leader, and several other prominent members of the community have objected to the new law along with Israel’s Arab lawmakers and many Jewish opposition lawmakers. Asad said it reduces Druze Israelis to “second-class citizens.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly ended a meeting Thursday with Asad and other Druze leaders, reportedly over Asad’s allegation on Facebook that Netanyahu was turning Israel into an “apartheid” state.

Advocates of the law say it merely states de facto realities in Israel — including its purpose, flag and national anthem — without replacing or undermining other laws with the same status that guarantee equality for all Israelis.

Also Thursday, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in a statement urged Israel’s government to amend the new law “so that it includes ‘equality’ for Druze and other minorities.”

Author

Major Israel Funders Join Criticism Of Nation-State Law

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

2 Major Funders Of Israel Join Growing Criticism Of New Nation-State Law

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close