Israel summons EU envoy Giaufret in row over controversial bill

Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that EU ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, above, be reprimanded. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated 13 July 2018
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Israel summons EU envoy Giaufret in row over controversial bill

  • The summons is tied to the so-called nation-state law which Netanyahu wants to pass by the end of the month
  • European diplomats have told lawmakers in the country that the law is discriminatory and against democratic principles

JERUSALEM: Israel summoned the EU ambassador on Thursday over allegations of interference in the passage of a controversial law which could pave the way for Jewish-only communities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the foreign ministry to “reprimand” EU envoy Emanuele Giaufret, warning “additional steps” were planned.
The summons is tied to the so-called nation-state law, which Netanyahu wants to pass by the end of the month.
The proposed legislation would allow the state to “authorize a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.”
That was seen as allowing towns to exclude Arab citizens, who account for some 17.5 percent of Israel’s population, or even other Jewish communities.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, whose role is mainly symbolic, expressed concerns about the bill in a rare intervention in the country’s politics.
Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has also raised opposition to the text, which if passed could become part of the country’s basic laws that serve as a de facto constitution.
According to Israel media, European diplomats have told lawmakers in the country that the law is discriminatory and against democratic principles.
Netanyahu’s office accused the European Union of “interfering with Israeli legislation.”
“Apparently they do not understand that Israel is a sovereign state,” his office said.


OIC condemns Israel’s nation-state law as racist and illegal

Updated 4 min 54 sec ago
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OIC condemns Israel’s nation-state law as racist and illegal

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the “Jewish nation-state” law, which declares that only Jews have the right to self-determination in the country.
The OIC labeled the move as a blatant challenge to the will of the international community, its laws and its legitimate resolutions.
The Secretary-General of the Organization, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, described the law as racist, unlawful and illegitimate.
“It ignores the historical rights of the Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian, and represents an extension to the Israeli settlement ideology and occupation policies, based on ethnic cleansing and denial of the existence of Palestinian people and history, highlighted by International resolutions,” he said.
He called on the international community to reject and condemn the racist law and to confront all Israeli racist laws and policies that aim to undermine any possible solution to the conflict.