In Rare Rebuke, Jewish Federations Slam Israel's Nation-state Law as 'Step Back for All Minorities'

Major Israel fundraiser JFNA says 'disappointed' with controversial law, which stipulates that only Jews have right to self-determination in Israel

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Druze and Israeli flags decorate a shrine in Kfar Zeitim, by the Sea of Galilee, northern Israel, April 25, 2018.
Druze and Israeli flags decorate a shrine in Kfar Zeitim, by the Sea of Galilee, northern Israel, April 25, 2018.Credit: Ariel Schalit/AP
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

Rarely critical of the government of Israel, the Jewish Federations of North America issued a statement on Thursday taking issue with the highly controversial nation-state law.

The JFNA, which is a major fundraiser for Israel, joins other Jewish organizations and movements that have already voiced opposition to the basic law, which stipulates that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgrades Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.”

The law has sparked a particularly strong backlash in the Druze community, whose members serve in the Israeli army.

>> 'When we’re in uniform they treat us well': Israel's Druze no longer feel like blood brothers

“Jewish Federations stand shoulder to shoulder with the Druze community and urge Israeli legislators to work with the community as soon as possible to address their very real concerns,” the JFNA statement said.

“As strong supporters of Israel, we were disappointed that the government passed legislation which was effectively a step back for all minorities.”

Jewish organizations and movements have also expressed concerns that the law would set back their efforts to promote Jewish pluralism in Israel.

Since the law was passed by the Knesset two weeks ago, it has already come under fire by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and both the Reform and Conservative movements.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott