Thousands protest Israel’s nation-state law at Arab-led rally

About 50,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv Aug. 4, angry about Israel's new law declaring it the nation-state of the Jewish people. On Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, about 30,000 of the country's Arab minority follow suit in a protest denouncing the law. Photo by Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE

Aug. 11 (UPI) — Tens of thousands rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday, angry about Israel’s new law declaring it the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Protests by the country’s Arab minority follow last week’s mass march that drew about 50,000 people to protest on behalf of the country’s Druze community.

At least 30,000 people came to Saturday’s rally. Despite organizers’ request to leave flags behind, protesters waved Israeli and Palestinian flags, along with signs saying “Nation-state is apartheid.”

The rally was held at Tel Aviv Museum Square under a banner that said, “No to the nation-state law, yes to equality.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted about the rally, saying “There is no better testimony for the necessity of the nation-state law. We will continue to wave the Israeli flag proudly and sing the anthem (Hatikva) with even greater pride.”

The nation-state law, passed in July, enshrines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” and says “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

The law also defines Arabic as a language bearing a “special” status, as Israel’s second official language. Arab citizens make up 20 percent of Israel’s population.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here