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HRW director says he objects to Israel’s definition as Jewish state

Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth says he objects to Israel’s definition as a Jewish state because it is a “nationalistic term.”

Roth is asked about Israel’s right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people during a radio interview with the Kan public broadcaster.

“Nobody has ever questioned Israel’s right to exist,” he replies. “Israel can define itself anyway it wants, many states define themselves in nationalist terms.”

Asked by the interviewer why he is reluctant to define Israel as a Jewish state, Roth says: “Well, because there are many Palestinians who live in Israel too, who are citizens who deserve full rights.”

Asked whether he would object to Egypt calling itself an Arab state, Roth says he would, “if that means that therefore people who are not Arabs are second class citizens and don’t get respect for their rights.”

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