A delegation of Arab lawmakers from the Joint List will travel to Brussels to meet with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, following Israel’s passage of the racist nation-state bill last week, head of Joint List MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) tweeted on Saturday, July 21.
Scheduled for September 4, the meeting in Belgium was said to have been arranged a week before the nation-state law received its final Knesset approval with 62 votes in favor, 55 against and 2 abstentions. This is the first time Mogherini will convene with Joint List lawmakers.
Odeh, sent a personal letter to Mogherini on June 22, after the law passed its first reading, and requested the European Union to intervene. The law has drawn rebuke from the European Union and has been denounced as racist legislation by the Palestinian Authority, leftists and democratic forces in Israel and Arab citizens of Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the law exposed the racist face of the Israeli occupation and its violation of all international legitimacy resolutions. “The adoption of such false and racist laws will not change the historical situation of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupied state of Palestine,” Abbas rebuked.
American Jewish groups also criticized the law, with Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, saying that “Israel is losing its soul and weakening its democracy and Jewish character. Its beacon of light to the nations is now dim. Even I am having difficulty seeing it.”
The American Jewish Committee said that it was “deeply disappointed” over the passage of the law, which has constitution-like status, highlighting the clause in the legislation that downgrades the status of the Arabic language and another one that favors the development of Jewish communities.
According to Attorney Hassan Jabareen, general director of Adalah – The Legal Centre or Arab Minority Rights in Israel: “The Jewish Nation-State Law features key elements of apartheid, which is not only immoral, but is also absolutely prohibited under international law. The new law constitutionally enshrines the identity of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people only – despite the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of the state and residents of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights – and guarantees the exclusive ethnic-religious character of Israel as Jewish.”
“By defining sovereignty and democratic self-rule as belonging solely to the Jewish people – wherever they live around the world – Israel has made discrimination a constitutional value and has professed its commitment to favoring Jewish supremacy as the bedrock of its institutions,” he said.