EU Expresses Concern Over Jewish Nationality Law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
jewish state bill
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the Knesset plenum ahead of the vote on the Nationality Law, late Wednesday night.
(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The European Union on Thursday said it was concerned about a new Israeli law formally asserting the Jewish character of the state, and said it would complicate a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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

“We’ve been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided,” she said.

The law stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.”

It also downgrades Arabic from an official language alongside Hebrew, to a “special status” that enables its continued use within Israeli institutions.

Later in the day, Turkey joined in, accusing Israel of trying to form “an apartheid state.”

A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community “to react to this injustice happening in front of the entire world’s eyes.”