The Egyptian Foreign Ministry of Affairs has released a statement on Saturday in which it rejected the new Jewish state law in Israel.
The law, which had been passed by the Israeli Knesset on Thursday, has affirmed that Jews had the right to self-determination in the country and downgraded the language of Arabic from being an official to having ‘special status’. The law stipulates that ”Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.
In its statement, the Ministry stated that the law bore into the concept of occupation and racial segregation; it would also dampen efforts of achieving peace or a solution to the Palestinian conflict while making it difficult to prove the right of the Palestinian refugees, who had been displaced since 1948, to return to their homes. Egypt repeatedly calls on for a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel.
Similarly, on Thursday, Egypt’s top Sunni Muslim institution, Al-Azhar, denounced the law as being ‘racist.’
The law was equally rebuked from the European Union, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Palestinians authorities.
“We’ve been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided,” stated European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.
Ties between Egypt and Israel have deepened when general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi assumed presidency. In February, the Israeli government announced that it signed a “historic deal” with Egypt to export $US 15 billion of natural gas in a decade-long agreement although this was later refuted by Egypt.
In May, Israel’s Embassy in Egypt celebrated the 70th anniversary of the independence of the state of Israel for the first time since the 2011 Arab although the event was met with heavy criticism. Moreover, Egypt condemned the use of force against Palestinians following mass protests against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.