Brother of slain Druze cop decries ‘Jewish state’ bill

Murat Saif says he won’t encourage coreligionists to enlist in IDF if the law discriminates between Jewish and Druze blood

Slain Druze policeman Zidan Saif, 30 (Courtesy)
Slain Druze policeman Zidan Saif, 30 (Courtesy)

The brother of a Druze policeman who was killed earlier this month when confronting terrorists during an attack in Jerusalem spoke out against the controversial “Jewish state” bill being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the draft legislation, which seeks to enshrine Israel’s status as a Jewish state. The bill, which currently has several versions, has been blasted for elevating Israel’s “Jewishness” over its democratic nature in some of its drafts. Opponents argue that it alienates the country’s non-Jewish citizens, including the Druze and Arab communities.

Murat Saif, brother of policeman Zidan Saif who was killed in the Har Nof synagogue terror attack last week along with four rabbis, said he wouldn’t encourage Druze teens to enlist in the IDF because the bill seeks to legislate Israel’s Jewish status and would differentiate between “Druze and Jewish blood,” Israel Radio reported Thursday.

The mayor of Daliyat al-Carmel, a Druze village outside Haifa, was also quoted as saying that if signed into law, the bill would distance the Arab minority from its Israeli identity.

The remarks came after Netanyahu met with Druze community leaders on Wednesday and expressed condolences on the recent deaths of two Druze police officers: Zidan Saif and Border Police Chief Inspector Jedan Assad, who was killed earlier this month when a Palestinian terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem.

“You are our very flesh. You are an organic part of Israeli society. Your heroic policemen and soldiers have fallen in order to defend the state and all its citizens, but we will defend your rights and your security,” Netanyahu told the Druze leaders.

“There is a deep emotional commitment here that found expression in the crowds who came to the funeral. This emotionally underscored what Israeli citizens feel and what I feel,” he said.

“This is our fight against radical Islam,” he added.

Netanyahu’s remarks came amid widespread international and local criticism over the controversial “Jewish state” bill.

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