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EU expresses “concern” over Jewish “nation state” law passed by Israeli parliament

Thursday, 19 July, 2018 - 18:47

The European Union has said it is “concerned” by the adoption of a law defining Israel as “the nation state of the Jewish people”, as this could “complicate” the two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We are concerned and have expressed our concern to the Israeli authorities,” spokeswoman Federica Mogherini told reporters.

“We respect the sovereignty of Israel, but the basic principles, including the right of minorities, must be respected,” said spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

The European spokeswoman declined to comment specifically on the adoption of the law by the Israeli parliament.

“The two-state solution is the solution advocated by the EU and every effort must be made to avoid putting obstacles in the way and prevent this solution from becoming a reality,” she said.

The law on the nation-state of the Jewish people “obviously risks complicating things,” she said.

“We will work with the Israeli authorities on anything that might prevent the two-state solution from coming into being,” she said.

The Knesset passed a law on Thursday defining the country as “the nation-state of the Jewish people,” a text that raises accusations of “racism” against the Arab minority.

The law makes Hebrew the only official language of Israel, whereas Arabic previously had the same status.

It further states that the establishment of “Jewish localities (on Israeli territory) is in the national interest” and proclaims that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, including the eastern part of the city.

Relations between the EU and Israel are regularly subject to friction.

The head of the EU delegation in Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry for interference in the vote on the bill in Parliament.


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