Organizers of a protest against contentious Israeli legislation that critics say sidelines the non-Jewish population expect tens of thousands to attend.
"Nobody has harmed - and nobody intends to harm - these individual rights but without the Nation-State Law it will be impossible to ensure for (future) generations the future of Israel as a Jewish national state". They are considered to be fiercely loyal to Israel. Led by Israel's Druze minority, the crowd, filling almost every square foot of the city's central square, repeatedly cheered "Equality!" as speakers railed against the recently passed legislation.
A senior Iranian diplomat says Israel's adoption of the law that is further proof of the regime's apartheid nature, urging global pressure on Tel Aviv to cancel the law.
"Just as we fight for the existence and security of the state so we are determined to fight together for the character and right to live in it in equality and dignity", said Tarif.
Head of the left-wing Meretz MK (member of Knesset) Tamar Zandberg petitioned Israel's high court Tuesday on behalf of her party against the highly controversial law passed earlier this month proclaiming Israel the nation state of the Jewish people. For instance, Arabic has been reclassed as a special language whereas before it was official.
Arab Israelis make up around 20 percent of the country's 9 million citizens. Critics, however, say the law effectively discriminates against Israel's Arabs and other minority communities. They were waving Israeli and Druze flags. The law's passage made it one of Israel's Basic Laws, which, similar to a constitution, underpin Israel's legal system and are more hard to repeal than regular laws.
Palestinian citizens of Israel have long said they are treated as second-class citizens by Israeli authorities, suffering from discriminatory legislation and radically inferior access to public services and infrastructure compared with Jewish citizens.
The Druze activist said the law would only harm "the heart of Israeli society, "those people who perceive themselves as part of the Israeli society...."
On Saturday, Tel Aviv's Rabin Square was packed with Druze protesters bused in from all over Israel, and their Jewish backers, including former senior members of the defense establishment. "Individual rights are anchored in many laws", Netanyahu said Sunday.
The deep bond between the Druze community and our commitment to it are also essential; therefore, today we will establish a special ministerial committee to advance this bond and this commitment and at the same time will appreciate those of all religions and all ethnic communities who serve in the IDF and the security forces.
Dozens of protesters erected a huge sign blaring the words "Crime Minister" and bearing an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.