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Arab MKs seek EU foreign-policy chief’s support in battle against nation-state law

Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh urges E.U. foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini to push for the European Union’s condemnation of controversial legislation.

Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List Party. Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List Party. Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

A delegation of Arab Israeli lawmakers from the ‎Joint Arab List party met on Tuesday with senior ‎European Union officials in Brussels in a bid to ‎drum up support for a European Union ‎condemnation of ‎Israel over the ‎controversial ‎nation-state law‎.‎

The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of ‎the Jewish people, has been sharply ‎criticized by ‎the country’s ‎‎Arab minority, with Arab ‎lawmakers ‎calling it ‎‎“racist” and “verging on ‎‎apartheid.”

Last week, it was reported that Arab ‎Knesset members ‎had teamed up with Palestinian ‎‎officials at the ‎United Nations in a bid to promote ‎a U.N. General ‎Assembly resolution ‎condemning Israel ‎over the ‎legislation.‎

Joint Arab List Chairman Ayman Odeh met Tuesday with ‎E.U. foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini, while ‎five other Israeli Arab MKs met with other top ‎officials, including Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister ‎Jean Asselborn.‎

In a statement released after his meeting with ‎Mogherini, Odeh said that he “appreciates the fact ‎that the E.U.’s foreign-policy chief has agreed to ‎take this meeting despite the enormous pressure to ‎cancel it.‎

‎“This was an important meeting that focused mainly ‎on the nation-state law, and we agreed to closely ‎monitor the developments,” he said. “Our struggle against this ‎law must be fought first and foremost in Israel but ‎our international partners have a significant ‎contribution to the fight against the nation-state ‎law, enacted by a radical and racist right-wing ‎government.”

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