The European Union (EU) on Friday criticised Israel’s decision to unilaterally pass a “nation-state law” that grants the right of self-determination only to its Jewish citizens.
Echoing criticism by Israeli-Arab political leaders and liberal Jewish groups in the United States (US) also points that they believe this law warrants an ‘apartheid’. The EU considers this law to be a major roadblock in the path of a “two-state solution.”
The law states, “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.
The legislation is also strips Arabic of its official language status, downgrading it to a “special status” which continues to be used within Israeli institutions.
Expressing concern for the situation, Spokesperson for the EU Foreign Affairs chief said, “We are concerned, we have expressed this concern and we will continue to engage with Israeli authorities in this context.”
“We’ve been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided,” she added.
The law was also condemned by the Turkish foreign ministry which stated that the legislation tramples on the principles of universal law and disregarded rights of the Palestenian citizens in Israel. The head of Israeli Joint List groups of parties Ayman Odeh denounced it as “the death of [our] democracy.”
The law was passed after a rather uncanny prelude. It materialised just hours before Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received his guest; Hungary’s far right leader, Viktor Orban, who has been criticised for his anti-semitic and anti-migrant views.
On the other hand, Netanyahu told The Knesset that, “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel.”
This article originally appeared in The Guardian.
Israel's Arab minority called the law racist, verging on apartheid.
The two-state solution envisaged under an international peace framework is already looking like a dim prospect
The legislation becomes part of the country's basic laws, which serve as a de facto constitution
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