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Photo: Amit Shabi
Nationality Law passed in Knesset causes fury among bereaved Druze families
Photo: Amit Shabi
Bereaved Druze parents furious over Nationality Law
After Nationality Law passes in Knesset, bereaved Druze families come against the law, calling it 'racist' and 'discriminatory'; bereaved mother says 'will do everything to prevent my grandchildren from joining the army.'

Bereaved parents from the Druze village of Beit Jann are calling on the Israeli government to immediately revoke the Nationality Law and prevent the disintegration of trust between the Druze community and the government.

 

 

Beit Jann has 11,000 residents. Sixty-one of the village's finest men sacrificed their lives to protect the State of Israel.

 

According to the Nationality Law, only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel, something that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed as the realization of the Zionist vision, but has stoked anger among critics who argue it is racist.

 

 (Photo: Efi Shrir)
(Photo: Efi Shrir)

 

The families of Beit Jann are furious at the law, which passed during the last week of the Knesset's summer session.

 

"It's a racist law and will be a warning sign to the next Druze recruits," bereaved parents Farha and Salman said.

 

Farha and Salman Yussuf's son Madhat is one of Beit Jann's fallen soldiers, who was killed in 2000.

 

"Madhat died in vain. When our son was killed, we refused to believe, even for a split second, that he was left to die because he was a Druze. However, the government has proven that assumption. Madhat was killed because he was discriminated against," they lashed out.  

 

Druze community leader (Photo: Ido Becker)
Druze community leader (Photo: Ido Becker)

 

"We cannot convey our pain in words, but we can express our anger," said the parents, whose Border Policeman son bled to death while awaiting medical attention at Joseph's Tomb.

 

"Our son fell while fighting for his homeland, and now this isn't his nationality?" they asked.

 

Bereaved parents Salma and Kamal Zidan, who lost two of their sons—Fuad and Salah—during their military service, also joined the protest against the law.

 

Fuad was a Border Policeman who was killed in Bethlehem in 1987, only eight months after he was drafted.

 

In 1996, their second son Salah, a Golani company commander, fell in battle in Lebanon.

 

"I'm ashamed of the Nationality Law," Salma said.

 

Bereaved parents Salma and Camal Zidan
Bereaved parents Salma and Camal Zidan

 

Salma also lost her brother Salah, after whom she named her son.

 

"This government is racist and has proven it's not loyal to us. Where is the democracy?" Salma wondered.

 

"I will do everything in my power to prevent my grandchildren from going to the army," she said.

 

"It's a disappointing and racist law. We were thrown out and that's sad. We disapprove of the law, denounce it and are ashamed of it," Salma added.

 

"I believe that the majority of the Israeli public is against this law, and those who promoted its legislation are racists and criminals who don't have an ounce of emotion. Are they even Jews?" the bereaved mother accused. "This government is comprised of racists that divide and break up Israeli society."

 

Salma and her husband visited their son's grave in Beit Jann last Tuesday to mark his birthday this week.

 

"We told our children in the cemetery 'look at what's happening. It's a shame you fought and protected those who passed that law,'" she recalled with anger.

 

Druze combat fighters  (Photo: Dan Bronfeld)
Druze combat fighters (Photo: Dan Bronfeld)

 

The bereaved mother intends to fight to prevent her 17.5-year-old grandson from joining the army.

 

"I'll call on bereaved mothers not to sent their remaining children and grandsons to the army. I'm ashamed, ashamed of the law," Salma concluded with rage and profound sorrow.

 

Knesset member Saleh Saed (Zionist Union), who petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Nationality Law, also expressed his anger saying, "This is a painful fight that comes from the heart. We'll put an emphasis on the Druze bereaved families' part in our protest."

 

"I believe and hope it will influence Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to revoke the discrimination against the Druze community and all other minorities," Saed added.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.28.18, 16:08
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