Israel summoned the EU ambassador Thursday to protest European interference in a government-sponsored bill that would allow the establishment of “Jewish-only” communities.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the premier ordered the Foreign Ministry to summon Emanuele Giaufret to hand him a note of protest.
“Apparently Europeans still don’t understand that Israel is a sovereign state,” the statement said, accusing European diplomats of interfering in the bill’s passage.
Although no detailed information was given about the decision in the statement, local media reported earlier that it was related to the draft legislation.
According to reports, European diplomats told Israeli lawmakers that the draft law includes discriminatory elements incompatible with democratic principles.
The draft legislation was approved in its first reading in April.
Introduced by Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the so-called “National Law” bill says “the land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established, and the State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people, in which they apply their natural, cultural and historical right to self-determination.”
It adds that “the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is specific to the Jewish people. Hebrew is the language of the state, while Arabic has a special status in the state”.
Contentiously, the law also appears to allow for the establishment of “Jewish-only” communities in Israel from which Arab citizens would be barred.
If the draft law is accepted on its second and third readings and enacted, an objection can be raised against Israeli Arabs living in the towns in question.
In Israel, a draft law should be voted on three times in parliament to be legislated.