European Union expresses concern over Israel's Jewish nation-state law

Israeli flags fly atop the country's parliamentary building. James Emery  Flickr

A senior source in the Saudi foreign ministry said that this is contrary to the provisions of global law, the principles of worldwide legitimacy, the principles of human rights, and it would disrupt global efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as reported by Saudi press Agency, SPA.

"This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party called upon the global community to put pressure on Israel to abolish the "draconian and racist" law. "No racist law will undermine the rights of our people". The Palestinian Authority has also issued a statement.

The law prioritizes "Jewish" values over democratic ones in the occupied territories, declares Jerusalem al-Quds the "capital" of Israel, allows Jewish-only communities, sets Hebrew as the official language of Israel and relegates Arabic from an official language to one with "special status".

"We are concerned, we have expressed this concern and we will continue to engage with Israeli authorities in this context", a spokeswoman for European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini told a news briefing.

"I announce with shock and sorrow the death of democracy", Ahmed Tibi, an Arab lawmaker, told reporters after the law was adopted. The EU considers this law to be a major roadblock in the path of a "two-state solution".

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Early drafts had gone further in what critics at home and overseas saw as discrimination towards Arabs, who have long said they are treated in Israel as second-class citizens.

Clauses that were dropped after political wrangling would have enshrined in law establishment of Jewish-only communities.

The American Jewish Committee, a group representing the Jewish Diaspora, said it was "deeply disappointed", adding that the law "puts at risk the commitment of Israel's founders to build a country that is both Jewish and democratic". It says the new law paves the way for ethnic cleansing.

DAP urged the worldwide community today to pressure Israel to abolish its newly-passed legislation that essentially defines the country as a Jewish state.

Even after the changes, critics said the new law will deepen a sense of alienation within the Arab minority.

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