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Israeli Arab MP resigns to protest Jewish state law

Bahloul said the law brushed the Arab citizens aside, both officially and constitutionally.

In protest of Israel’s controversial “Jewish nation-state” law, a Israeli Arab lawmaker from opposition Zionist Union lawmaker on Saturday quitted the parliament.

According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Zouheir Bahloul termed the parliament (the Knesset) “racist” for passing the law, which sparked international criticism of Israel.

Bahloul said the law brushed the Arab citizens aside, both officially and constitutionally.

The Arab lawmaker said his resignation will come into effect in September when the Knesset returns from its summer recess and vowed not to step back from his decision.

The law defines Israel as a Jewish state with a “united Jerusalem” as its capital. It has also promoted Hebrew as the only official language, stripping Arabic as an official language while recognizing its “special status”.

The new legislation risks further alienating the Arab minority who argue they already face discrimination from Israeli Jews and the government and already feel as though they are second-class citizens.

Palestinians, who have Israeli citizenship make up 21 per cent of the population, are known as Israeli Arabs and have members in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

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