Palestinian MPs plan appeal to EU to oppose Jewish nation-state law: Report

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MPs may urge EU to support planned UN resolution likening Israel's nation-state law to apartheid

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh speaks in Jerusalem recently (AFP/file photo)
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Tuesday 4 September 2018 6:24 UTC
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Palestinian members of parliament will meet senior European Union officials and urge them to oppose the controversial nation-state law passed on 19 July, Hadashot news reported on Friday, as cited by the Times of Israel.

This came after Hadashot said earlier this week that MPs from the Joint List had allied with Palestinians in trying to convince the UN to advance a resolution next month at the General Assembly likening the nation-state law, which enshrines Israel's status as a Jewish state, to apartheid.

The nation-state law casts Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people," making no mention of equality or democracy and implying that the country's Jewish character takes precedence over Palestinians, Druze and Circassians. It is one of the country's Basic Laws, which act as a de facto Israeli constitution and would be difficult to overturn.

That earlier Hadashot report was denied by all parties and drew condemnation in Israel, with one minister calling for any MPs involved to be tried for treason.

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The TV report on Friday said Joint List leader Ayman Odeh and several party members would travel to Brussels, where they will meet with European leaders including foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, various foreign ministers and ambassadors. MEE was able to confirm that the MPs were heading to Brussels.

Odeh will reportedly urge the EU to support the planned UN resolution and to pressure Israel to repeal the law. He also plans to approach the UN cultural body UNESCO to protest against the law's apparent downgrading of Arabic as an official language in Israel.

There was no immediate confirmation or comment from Odeh, the Times said.

Israel's nation-state law has been forcefully condemned by Israel’s Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20 percent of the population, as well as by the country's Druze minority, many of whom serve in the Israeli military.