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Dozens of MEPs urge Israel to abandon 'Jewish nation-state' bill

Dozens of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have urged the Israeli government to abandon a draft "Jewish nation state" bill, reports the Jerusalem Post.

A statement by the 189-member Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament reads:

We express our deep concern over the nation-state bill currently under debate in the Knesset, which can be interpreted as an attempt to deepen and legalise systemic discrimination against the Palestinian Arab minority in the country.

The letter comes two weeks after a delegation of Joint List MKs visited Brussels, and according to MK Yousef Jabareen, the statement "is certainly a result of our visit", adding: "The topic of the nation-state bill was one of the main topics we brought up in our meetings at the EU."

Jabareen told the Jerusalem Post that one EU official said the bill has "a flavour of apartheid".

Read: Israel's 'Jewish nation-state law' to have first Knesset vote next month

The letter was sent to the EU Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, as well as to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani last Friday.

The progressive MEPs urged Tajani and Mogherini "to raise their voice and to make it explicit that the adoption of this bill in its current shape – against the strong protests of the Palestinian Arab community constituting one-fifth of the population – is incompatible with the basic values of EU-Israel relations and with the image of Israel as a solid democracy in the Middle East."

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