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Christian leaders urge Israel to repeal ‘Jewish nation-state’ law

Image of a Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem's old city on 16 September 2013 [Saeed Qaq//Apaimages]
An Orthodox Church in Jerusalem's old city on 16 September 2013 [Saeed Qaq//Apaimages]

Senior Christian clerics in Jerusalem yesterday called for Israel to repeal its Jewish nation-state law, reported AFP.

“We must draw the attention of the authorities to a simple fact”, bishops and archbishops of the Roman Catholic, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic and Greek Melkite churches said in a joint statement.

“Our faithful, the Christians, our fellow citizens, Muslim, Druze and Baha’i, all of us who are Arabs, are no less citizens of this country than our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Christians, Muslims, Druze, Baha’i and Jews demand to be treated as equal citizens

said the letter which was also signed by the Maronite archbishop of Cyprus and the Greek Melkite archbishop of Petra, in Jordan.

“We, as the religious leaders of the Catholic Churches, call on the authorities to rescind this basic law and assure one and all that the state of Israel seeks to promote and protect the welfare and the safety of all its citizens.”

Unveiling its vision of apartheid: Israel’s Nation-State law

The Jewish nation-state law, which enjoys the status of a constitutional “Basic Law”, was passed in July, and defines the right of self-determination as belonging only to Jewish citizens.

The law doubles down on decades of institutionalised discrimination, including demoting the status of the Arabic language and omitting any reference to equality. Some 20 per cent of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian.

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