Turkey on Thursday slammed a new law adopted by Israel’s parliament defining the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, saying the legislation “trampled” on universal law and the rights of Israeli Arabs, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.
The legislation, adopted after a tumultuous Knesset session, makes Hebrew the country’s national language and defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest.
Arabic, previously considered an official language, was granted only special status.
This law “tramples on the principles of universal law and disregards the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The fact that the law presents the right to auto-determination as a right that only applies to Jews is the product of a mentality that is outdated and discriminatory,” it said.
Arab citizens account for some 17.5 percent of Israel’s more than 8 million population. They have long complained of discrimination.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry called for the “necessary response” from the international community to the law, which it said was aimed at eliminating the vision of a two-state solution.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman İbrahim Kalın condemned the law as a “racist step” that Turkey condemned “in the sharpest way.”
He said it was an effort to “legally erase” the Palestinian people “from their homeland.”