On March 4, Ono hosted a conference entitled “Is There an Israeli Nationality?” focused on how the Jewish Nation-State Law impacts Israel’s multicultural citizens. The conference, which was organized and moderated by Prof. Avner Ben-Zaken, the head Ono’s Scholastic Excellence Program, featured panelists from diverse backgrounds, including Brig. Gen. (res.) Amal Ass’ad, who discussed the “Israeliness” of the Druze community in Israel.
“Throughout Israel’s history, the Druze community has considered itself an equal part of the State of Israel. There is a deep sense of identification that brings the community to contribute to the state in every field, especially in the field of security,” said Brig. Gen. Ass’ad. “The Nation-State Law came as a shock to the Druze community and damaged that feeling of identification and belonging to the state. Suddenly, there is no equality for non-Jews living in Israel.
“Following the enactment of the law, the Druze community, which makes up about 20% of the population in Israel, feels second-rate. Arabic was an official language, and today, after the law, it was also pushed aside. A country is not property or something that one can buy – it belongs to all of its citizens.”
Ono hopes to continued to change the face of Israel by highlighting the contributions of ALL it’s citizens and ensuring that people of all backgrounds have equal opportunities to contribute to and shape the state.