Arab-Israeli lawmakers ask UN to condemn nation-state law


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Arab-Israeli lawmakers and the Palestinian Authority want the United Nations to condemn Israel’s nation-state law.

Several lawmakers from the Joint List, an Arab-Israeli political party, are involved in an effort to get the U.N. General Assembly to officially condemn the law, along with Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Hadashot news reported Sunday.

The move comes less than a month before the U.N. General Assembly, scheduled to open on Sept. 18. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to join other world leaders in speaking at the General Assembly.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, was asked by Rosemary DiCarlo, United Nations under-secretary-general for political affairs, to respond to the charges. In a message to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Danon accused the Arab lawmakers of having a “close partnership” with Palestinian representatives in the U.N. “with the goal of inciting against and defaming the State of Israel and the IDF on the UN stage.”

“The Palestinian representatives, along with the MKs from the Arab parties are planning steps which are intended to sully Israel and damage its image through incitement and lies,” he also wrote.

On Monday, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin accused the Arab lawmakers of “treason” and said that he hoped they would be prosecuted on the charge in Israel.

Joint List lawmaker Dov Khenin responded to the criticism saying it was “anti-Democratic and hypocritical, certainly when it comes from close associates of Netanyahu, who met and befriended anti-Semites around the world,” Hadashot reported.

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