Arab MK Jamal Zahalka and Adalah general director Hassan Jabareen met over the past week with several US congressmen and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to draft their support against the controversial Nation-State Law, a Joint List spokesman said Monday.
Since the law was passed July 19, Joint List MKs have tried to persuade international figures in the European Union, the United Nations, the Arab League, and the United States to take action against the law. They are also challenging it in the Supreme Court, but the case will only be heard in January.
In the meeting with Sanders, Zahalka praised him for speaking out against the law and writing in The Guardian three weeks ago that it “essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.”
“The struggle for equality and justice knows no borders and those who fight for such values in the US will fight an anti-democratic, racist and discriminatory law in Israel as well,” Zahalka said.
Jabareen said there was no such constitutional law in the world. Zahalka told the congressmen the bill sanctions discrimination, removes rights of Palestinians and legalizes apartheid.
The MKs asked Sanders and the congressmen to pressure the Israeli government to repeal the law, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not do, but Sanders and the US lawmakers agreed to the MK's request. The American and Israeli Arab lawmakers decided to remain in dialogue in the future about those efforts. Sanders has been a frequent critic of Netanyahu’s policies.