Israeli military faces Druze uproar over Jewish nation law

By Aron Heller | Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military chief is pleading to keep politics out of the army amid rising protests by the Druze minority against a recently passed law that enshrines the state’s Jewish character and which critics say undermines its democratic values.

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has called on “all commanders and soldiers to keep controversial political issues” out of the military. In a statement Wednesday, he reaffirmed “our shared mission and camaraderie” with the Druze, an Arabic-speaking minority that serves in the military.

Like other minorities, the Druze have been outraged by the law, which they say renders them second-class citizens. Two Druze officers recently said they would stop serving in response to it, sparking fears of widespread insubordination.