Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with leader of the Druze community in Israel, Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on July 27, 2018.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Druze leaders have reached an “historic” agreement over the rift caused by the recently-passed Basic Law: Nation-State of the Jewish People, one that involves a new plan to pass a law that anchors the status of the Druze and Circassian communities in Israel.

The plan was formulated by a team appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chaired by Prime Minister’s Office Director General Yoav Hurvitz. It included Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif, ministers Ayoob Kara and Yariv Levin, MK Hamad Amar, former MK Shachiv Shnaan, Druze local council heads and the forum of senior reserve officers.

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“Prime Minister Netanyahu and the team reached an historic outline that constitutes a revolution in the legal status of minority community members who serve in the security forces, particularly the Druze community,” the prime minister’s office said Wednesday in a statement.

“Sheikh Tarif blessed the team’s efforts and thanked the Prime Minister for the quick and serious work. The outline will be presented to senior members of the community.”

The components of the plan are as follows:

1. Anchoring in law the status of the Druze and Circassian communities. The law will esteem the contribution of the Druze community to the State of Israel in building up the country, strengthening security and fashioning the face of Israeli society as an equal and varied society, and will include support for community religious, cultural and educational institutions; the strengthening of Druze towns and villages, including solutions for residential construction, and the establishment of new communities as necessary; and the preservation of the Druze heritage.

2. Anchoring in law the eligibility for benefits of minority community members – of all faiths and communities – who serve in the security forces, to achieve social equality.

3. Anchoring in a basic law recognition of the contribution of those – of all faiths and communities, including the Druze – who take part in the defense of the state.

The Deputy Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office announced the establishment of a ministerial committee, chaired by Prime Minister Netanyahu, on the issue of the Druze community which will work – inter alia – to advance the outline and oversee its implementation.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.