Abbas: Jewish state law an obstacle to peace

“We don’t want to assault anyone and we don’t want anyone to be harmed. But we also don’t want anyone to harm our people and religious sites,” said Abbas.

Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mahmoud Abbas
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that the proposed “Jewish state bill” “places obstacles in the way to achieving peace.”
Abbas, in an interview with a Ramallah-based radio station, said that he opposes the bill and noted that some Israeli ministers and MKs also oppose it.
“Many Israelis want peace and are working to achieve it,” he added. “We don’t want to assault anyone and we don’t want anyone to be harmed. But we also don’t want anyone to harm our people and religious sites.”
The PLO strongly condemned the bill, claiming it is aimed at destroying the two-state solution. A statement issued by the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah said the bill is designed to “implement the Greater Israel plan and the Jewishness of the state on the land of historic Palestine.”
The statement said that the PLO considers the bill a “unilateral Israel revocation of the Mutual Recognition Document of 1993” between Israel and the organization.
The PLO also warned that the bill would compromise the status of other holy sites and religions by making Judaism Israel’s recognized identity.
“This is a racist political decision to complete the theft of Palestinian land and rights,” the PLO charged. “It contravenes international laws and treaties, as well as human rights and the principles of democracy and equality.”
The PLO also cautioned that the bill would “legalize racism and discrimination in all aspects of life.” It accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of working toward transforming Israel into a state based on racism in accordance with the law.
“The so-called historic homeland of the Jewish people is a racist and ideologically exclusionary attempt to forget the Palestinian historic narrative and abolish Palestinian existence.”
The mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, also came out against the bill, saying it “exposes the racist face” of Israel. He warned against the grave repercussions of the “dangerous bill” and warned that it could ignite a religious war.
Hamas called the proposed law an “alarm bell” to all Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims regarding Israel’s “ambitions” in the region.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned that the bill would lead to a religious war, “because of Israel’s attempt to seize control over the entire Arab region and steal its resources.”
He also accused the US of “encouraging Israeli racism by supporting the idea of a homeland for the Jewish people.”