Senior Palestinian lawmaker condemned for 'accepting Israel's racist Jewish nation-state law'

Senior Palestinian lawmaker condemned for 'accepting Israel's racist Jewish nation-state law'
2 min read
22 December, 2021
The United Arab List's Mansour Abbas reportedly said Israel was 'born as a Jewish state, and it will remain one', angering many Palestinians
Mansour Abbas heads up the Palestinian United Arab List in Israel's Knesset [AFP/Getty]

A senior Palestinian lawmaker in the Israeli Knesset has been condemned for reportedly accepting Israel as being a Jewish state.

Mansour Abbas is head of the United Arab List, a Palestinian-Islamist political party in Israel that is a member of the governing coalition.

"The State of Israel was born as a Jewish state, and it will remain one," he reportedly said during a summit for the Israeli business news outlet Globes.

The reported comment was met with anger by many Palestinians, who pointed out the 700,000 Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from their homes with Israel's 1948 formation.

"These irresponsible statements are consistent with the calls of extremists in Israel to displace the Palestinians and harm the status of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and history of the Palestinian people," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a message issued by his team on Tuesday.

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The release also said Mansour stands for no one but himself with his alleged remark, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Gaza rulers Hamas said Mansour's apparent comment was "a clear endorsement" of Israel's Jewish nation-state law, passed by the country's parliament under right-wing premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

The 2018 legislation affords the "right to exercise national self-determination" within Israel only to Jews and was widely considered a racist measure.

Ayman Odeh, head of the largely Palestinian Joint List in Israel's parliament, a rival grouping to which the United Arab List once belonged, also hit out at Mansour.

"If you divide the national unity of your people and recognise the most important stance of the Zionist movement, then who are you?!" Odeh wrote on Facebook.

"One of the conditions for the [exclusively] Jewish state's continuation is that ruling establishment succeeds in seeing us fail to act as a national group with national rights.

"That's why Netanyahu and Mansour have worked to tear apart the unity of our people."

Members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the most senior authority within that organisation, said Mansour backed "racist" Israeli legislation.