September 27, 2023
Israel's Arab parties

Far-right Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Monday called to ban Israel’s Arab parties in the country.

‘They are the first to lead the hostile discourse against Israel and against its right to exist.’

Speaking at Reichmann University‘s World Summit on Counter-Terrorism, the head of the Religious Zionism party said that Israel’s Arab parties are “the most dangerous security threat to Israel today.”

“They are the first to lead the hostile discourse against Israel and against its right to exist,” he said, adding that widespread massacre by Arab citizens was “a more realistic scenario than ever.” Smotrich painted a picture of “hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons being directed at the moment of truth against Israeli citizens.”

“The concealment efforts led by (head of Islamist Ra’am party) Mansour Abbas in the old and well-known method of the Islamic movement camouflage radical, extremist Islamist nationalism, which seeks to destroy the State of Israel and replace it with one big Islamic caliphate,” he claimed.

His statements spawned backlash from members of the Arab-majority Joint List party, with lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman calling Smotrich a “racist Jewish supremacist.”

Ahmad Tibi, head of the Ta’al faction, said the statements showed a “dystopian scenario” for Israel. He also noted that should Smotrich become a minister again, along with fellow far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, Arab citizens would lose political representation.

Ben-Gvir has also advocated for extremist policies targeting Arabs, calling to deport citizens who he deemed “disloyal to Israel.”

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