Arab League Refuses to Recognize Israel as Jewish State

November 29, 2014  

The Arab League on Saturday backed Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to seek UN endorsement for a timetable for declaring an independent state, and rejected recognizing Israel as a Jewish nation, AFP reports Saturday.

But the extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers, which Abbas attended, did not announce when they would approach the United Nations Security Council.

A statement said the ministers agreed a plan which includes submitting an “Arab proposal to the United Nations Security Council to end the (Israeli) occupation,” of Palestinian land.

It also backed Palestinian plans to seek membership in UN agencies and international courts.

The Arab foreign ministers also announced Saturday their “categorical rejection of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state,” the statement said.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has demanded that Abbas, whose Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized Israel in a 1993 accord, affirm the country as a “Jewish state.”

The debate over Israel’s national identity rose again to relevance this month in light of the proposed Jewish State law, which seeks to enshrine in law Israel’s being a Jewish state.

A Knesset vote on the bill has been postponed due to vehement opposition to it among coalition members, mostly by Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has been a vocal opponent of the proposed law.

The law has also been condemned by the PLO outright, which said this week that it “is a racist political decision that is built to negate the Palestinian rights and to control the land, and it contradicts international law…and the law institutionalizes racism and discrimination in all fields of life, by implementing (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu’s plan to turn Israel into a country based on racism by law.”

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