Israeli Likud Minister Boycotts Arab MKs
Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered his office Sunday to cut all ties with all Arab Israelis who publicly took part in last Tuesday's demonstrations marking Nakba Day, reported Haaretz newspaper.
Israeli-Arab leaders expressed anger at the decision, and said that it was a “media gimmick” and an “empty move.”
In a meeting held with his office staff, hawkish Lieberman explained the decision as resulting from the need to “punish” Israeli-Arab leaders, who, according to him, publicly “change Independence Day into Holocaust Day.”
In response, the head of the Supreme Israeli-Arab Monitoring Committee said it was immoral for the government of Israel to discriminate against particular citizens because of their political beliefs, the paper quoted him as saying.
He said that Arab Israelis have as much a right as anyone else to their political opinions.
Last week, the Israeli government supported legislation that would ban a party or candidate from running for the Knesset if its aims or actions in the five years prior to the elections "supported a terror organization or identified with an enemy state."
The bill was approved on preliminary reading by 40-19, with two abstentions.
The bill's sponsor, Yisrael Katz (Likud), conducted a verbal attack against Arab MKs while presenting the bill.
"There is a political Tanzim in the Knesset. We saw its temporary commander, Ahmed Tibi, attack the chief of General Staff," he said, quoted by the paper.
Katz said his "bill would ensure that those who support Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, and the Tanzim can't run for the Knesset." – Albawaba.com
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