Arab-Israeli lawmaker slammed for calling Israel ‘Jewish state’

MK Abbas appeared unruffled by the brouhaha, doubling down on his comments in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Coalition kingmaker and chair of the Islamist Ra’am party MK Mansour Abbas has come under fire from other Arab Israeli lawmakers, Palestinian lawmakers, and terror groups for his remarks that Israel is a Jewish state and suggesting Arab citizens should look for ways forward that don’t involve denying or questioning that reality.

During a media conference on Tuesday, Abbas said that “Israel was born a Jewish state, that was the decision of the people, and the question is not what is the identity of the state — it was born this way and it will remain this way.”

Gaza-based terror group Hamas had a relatively mild response to Abbas comments, saying in a statement that Abbas’ comments “represent a flagrant bias in favor of the Zionist narrative, and a clear violation of the position of the Palestinian national consensus.” They added that the Palestinians “remain steadfast on their historical land and refuse to give up an inch of it.”

But embattled Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who himself is facing a major political crisis that’s seen some 80 percent of his constituents say they want him to resign, launched a blistering attack against MK Abbas.

“These irresponsible statements are consistent with the calls of extremists in Israel to displace the Palestinians and harm the status of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the history of the Palestinian people,” Abbas said in a statement.

The statement likened MK Abbas’ acknowledgement of Israel being a Jewish state as being part of a “current that promotes the Zionist colonial project.”

Essentially calling MK Abbas a traitor, the statement said that the lawmaker should be ashamed that “instead of siding with the rights of his people and condemning the settlements, killings and displacement committed by the occupation and the plans of Israeli extremists to empty Palestinian lands, we see him repeating the lies of the Zionist movement.”

MK Ayman Odeh, the chair of the aggressively anti-Zionist Arab Joint List party, slammed Abbas on Twitter.

“Neither the nation-state law nor Mansour Abbas will help. We are not subjects; this is our homeland, citizens by right, and we will work for the state to be egalitarian and democratic,” said Odeh, who believes defining Israel as a Jewish State is inherently racist.

“The question of identity should be of concern to every citizen – Arab and Jewish – who cares about peace and democracy.”

MK Abbas appeared unruffled by the brouhaha, doubling down on his comments in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“The state’s definition today is simple,” he wrote. “Legally and demographically, the State of Israel is a Jewish state.”