TEL AVIV, Israel | Thousands attend Arab-led rally against Israeli bill

TEL AVIV, Israel  — Members of Israel’s Arab minority are leading a mass protest in central Tel Aviv against a contentious law that critics say marginalizes the state’s non-Jewish citizens.

The rally Saturday night marks further fallout from the explosive Nation-State law that the government says enshrines the state’s Jewish character but which critics say undermines Israel’s democratic values.

One clause downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing.

Protester Omar Sultan says: “This law is against us, against the Arabic language, against peace, against our future in this land.”

Arab citizens make up some 20 percent of Israel’s population. They enjoy full citizenship but face discrimination in some areas of society. Some view them with suspicion as many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

By Associated Press