Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka meet with Ahmed Aboul Gheit

Joint List MKs discuss Nation-State Law with Arab chief

Following their meeting with foreign ministers of EU and Luxembourg, MKs Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka meet with Secretary General of Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who calls law 'racist' and vows to take action against contentious legislation.

After their controversial meeting with the foreign ministers of the EU and Luxembourg, the Joint List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka met Tuesday with the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Cairo to discuss the much disputed Nation-State Law.



The MKs met with Gheit as part of the Arab-Israeli faction's campaign against the law, approved by the Knesset last July, that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and strips the Arabic language from its status as an official language alongside Hebrew, defining it as a language with a "special status."



According to sources present at the meeting, Gheit identified with the messages delivered by the Arab MKs and labeled the law is racist.


The Arab League secretary added that in the past Israel has presented itself as a democratic state, but by passing this law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents the country as a racist state that passes apartheid legislations.


At the end of the meeting MKs Tibi and Zahalka stated: "The Nation-State Law is a racist law that divides the citizens of Israel into two separate categories, and draws its power from Trump's fantasies."


"As part of the global campaign we launched against the Nation-State Law, we are here, in Cairo, to explain the ramifications of the law on the Arab sector and on the national conflict," they added.


"This law creates blatant discrimination against all citizens and eliminates the prospects of the two-states solution," Tibi and Zahalka concluded.


After their meeting, the MKs are expected to participate in a meeting of Cairo's Arab foreign ministers for the first time.


Last week, the Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh met with EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, and discussed the Nation-State Law, urging the EU official to condemn the legislation of the law. 


At the same time, the Joint List leadership met in Luxembourg with the country’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.



MK Ahmad Tibi (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)
MK Ahmad Tibi (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)


During the meeting, MKs Ahmad Tibi, Jamal Zahalka, Yousef Jabareen, Masoud Ghanaim and Taleb Abu Arar demanded the EU condemns and acts against the law.


The MKs also demanded European assistance to Israeli Arabs, especially when it comes to the issue of students and the unrecognized villages in the Negev.


Luxembourg's foreign minister promised to review the requests, and at the same time expressed concern for the future of the two-state solution due to the continuation of the settlement construction.


"We emphasized to the minister that there is a joint agreement between Israel and the EU based on the values of justice, equality and democracy, which are negated by the Nation-State Law. The minister said that the values of democracy, equality and human rights must be implemented and respected for all," their statement said.


The Israeli Embassy in Brussels approached the Foreign Ministry in Luxembourg and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to cancel the meeting. A diplomat in Luxembourg told the Joint List MKs about the Israeli attempt to intervene.


During the Arab League's meeting Tuesday, Secretary-General Gheit condemned the US decision to shut down the offices of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington and said their American attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is biased.


"Since the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December, the attitude of the current American administration is completely biased, and favors the Israeli agenda," he said.


The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday, citing the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel, prompting the Palestinians to accuse the administration of dismantling decades of US engagement with them.

Arab League's meeting in Cairo (Photo: EPA)
Arab League's meeting in Cairo (Photo: EPA)


The head of the PLO delegation to the US accused the Trump administration of "dismantling decades of US vision and engagement in Palestine."


Prime minister Netanyahu addressed Tuesday the US decision to shut down the offices of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington.


"The US made the correct decision regarding the PLO mission in Washington. Israel supports American actions that are designed to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attempts to attack Israel in international forums will not advance peace," the prime minister said.



פרסום ראשון: 09.11.18, 22:46
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