Israeli Arab Lawmakers Meet With Arab League Chief to Promote Action Against Nation-state Law

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit promises to act against the law through diplomatic measures with member states ■ Arab League convenes to discuss U.S. decision to shutter Palestinian mission in Washington

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit speaking with Yemeni President Abd-Rabou Mansour after their meeting in Cairo, August 14, 2018.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit speaking with Yemeni President Abd-Rabou Mansour after their meeting in Cairo, August 14, 2018.Credit: \ MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/ REUTERS
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Israeli Arab lawmakers Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) met Tuesday morning in Cairo with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit to discuss international action against the nation-state law.

In a conversation with Aboul Gheit, the Knesset members discussed the implications of the nation-state law on the Arab community in Israel and on the Palestinian people in general.

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The law, they said, leads to discrimination and apartheid, accelerated settlement construction and damage to the Arabic language.

A statement issued by the two said that in the conversation, the parties discussed the condemnation of the law in the international arena, including UN institutions, and that they agreed the Arab League will support this effort through diplomatic measures with its member states.

Aboul Gheit stressed that the nation-state law would be on the agenda of the Arab League's foreign secretaries' meeting scheduled to take place in Cairo.

Meanwhile, the Arab League also convened to discuss the United States administration's statement Monday that it would close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington because "the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel" and had instead "condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise," as explained in a statement issued by the U.S. State Department statement.

>> Read more: Nation-state law requires international intervention, Israeli Arab lawmaker tells UN repPalestinian officials: U.S. closing PLO mission is 'vicious blackmail'

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said at the Arab League meeting on Tuesday that the United States was "attacking international law" after President Donald Trump's decision to halt all funding to UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA. "The U.S. administration has begun to attack the Palestinian people and international law," Malki said at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo convened to discuss the issue.

In addition to the State Department announcement, Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday that the U.S. will shield Israel from any attempts to investigate its actions by the International Criminal Court. "While the Court welcomes the membership of the so-called 'State of Palestine,' it has threatened Israel—a liberal, democratic nation—with investigation into its actions to defend citizens from terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Gaza", Bolton said.



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