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Israeli Parliamentarians Team Up With Palestinians In UN Anti-Israel Push

Israeli parliamentarians from the Joint (Arab) List have joined forces with the Palestinian Authority to pressure the United Nations to condemn the recent passage of the Nation-State Law—which bestows quasi-constitutional status to Israel’s Jewish character but fails to reinforce equal rights for all citizens, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and other existing laws. According to analysts, any such censure would likely come in the form of a resolution in the General Assembly—and not the Security Council, in which the United States would almost assuredly wield its veto—which generally rubber-stamps pro-Palestinian initiatives. “The Palestinian delegation, in cooperation with Knesset [parliament] members from the Arab parties, is planning steps aimed at smearing Israel and damaging its image through incitement and lies,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon asserted. His comments came after Joint Lister Aida Touma-Sliman reportedly met last week in New York with the international body’s Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs with a view to garnering support for her party’s efforts to overturn the law. To this end, Israeli-Arab leaders earlier this month filed a petition to the High Court of Justice against the Nation-State Law, which was described as “racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights and [a] contraven[tion of] international human rights norms.” In response to the apparent UN bid, Israeli Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein encouraged “anyone who cooperates with the PA against Israel [to] ask themselves whether their rightful place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament.” Many Israelis who opposed the law also expressed derision, with Zionist Union head Avi Gabbay accusing “Joint List parliamentarians of denigrat[ing] our country everywhere.… We will continue to fight this phenomenon.” On August 11, tens of thousands of Arab-Israelis and their supporters held a protest against the law in Tel Aviv’s iconic Rabin Square, during which some demonstrators flew the Palestinian flag while chanting, “With spirit, with blood we shall redeem you, Palestine.” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the day after tweeted in reference to the scene that, “there is no greater testament to the necessity of this [Nation-State Law].”