Israel PM Defends Contentious Law in Face of Arab Protest

Israel’s prime minister has criticized the presence of Palestinian flags at a protest against a contentious new law defining the country as a Jewish state.

Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday that Palestinian flags “flying in the heart of Tel Aviv” was “conclusive evidence” that many protesters oppose Israel’s existence, and proves the law is necessary.

Israeli Arabs and their supporters take part in a rally to protest against a Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 11, 2018.

Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the contentious law. Some Arab protesters waved Palestinian flags and others held signs reading “equality.” It was the second major protest against the law in recent weeks.

Supporters of the law say it enshrines the country’s existing character as a Jewish state. But critics say it undermines Israeli democracy and sidelines the country’s non-Jewish minorities. Approximately 20 percent of Israelis are Arab.

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