Two Druze Israeli army officers resign over nation-state law
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Two Druze Israeli army officers resign over nation-state law

Soldiers Shady Zaidan and Capt. Amir Jmall post online why they stepped aside, citing Israel's new controversial legislation

Capt. Amir Jmall posted pictures of him in uniform during his resignation
Capt. Amir Jmall posted pictures of him in uniform during his resignation

Two Druze military officers have resigned from the Israeli army over the nation-state law.

One of the officers, a captain, resigned Sunday in an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on Facebook.

The second, a deputy commander in a combat unit, took to Facebook on Monday night to say he would resign.

“I’m a citizen like everyone and gave my all to the state,” Shady Zaidan, 23, wrote in a post Monday. “And in the end, I wind up a second-class citizen. I’m not prepared to be a part of this. I’m also joining the struggle; I’ve decided to stop serving this country.

Zaidan also wrote: “Until today I stood in front of the state flag proudly and saluted it. Until today I sang the Hatikvah national anthem because I was certain this was my country and that I’m equal to everyone. But today, today I refused for the first time in my service to salute the flag, I refused for the first time to sing the national anthem.”

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Capt. Amir Jmall wrote: “This morning, when I woke up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why? Why do I have to serve the State of Israel, a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication, a sense of mission and a love of the homeland, and, in the end, what do we get? To be second-class citizens.”

Jmall called Israel a country with a government that “takes but does not give back,” and called for an end to military conscription for members of the Druze community.

The Israel Defence Forces’ chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, responded Tuesday in a statement.

“As a peoples’ army whose mandate is to protect the security of the people of Israel and winning in war, we are committed to preserving human dignity, regardless of ethnicity, religion and gender. So it has been and so it shall always be,” he said.

“We have pledged that the joint responsibility and brotherhood of the warriors, with our Druze brothers, Bedouin and the rest of the minorities serving in the IDF, will continue to lead our way.”

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