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Anti-Palestinian incitement begins to dominate Israeli elections

By Ruairi Henchy - March 11, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli Elections] [Benjamin Netanyahu]

The Palestinian Authority's Foreign Ministry has called for the arrest of “Avigdor Lieberman of ISIS” in a statement released on Monday March 9.

The Israeli Foreign Minister caused uproar on Sunday March 8 when, at an election rally in Herzliya, he called for the beheading of disloyal Palestinian citizens of present day Israel. “Those who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe,” he reportedly told the crowd. 

Palestinian National Initiative Chief Dr. Mustafa Barghouti told the Palestine Monitor, “This is the behaviour of a war criminal… He behaves as if he’s a member of Daesh [ISIS].” 

Barghouti agreed with the assertion of the PA’s Foreign Ministry that Lieberman should be brought to the international criminal court for such incitement. “He should be held accountable to the world for this. This is not just a normal person, he’s the Foreign Minister of Israel,” he said.

Lieberman, originally a bouncer from Moldova and also formerly the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, is no stranger to controversy. Head of the hard right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, he has in the past called for Palestinian Muslim, Christian and Druze citizens of Israel to be compelled to swear an oath of allegiance to “the Jewish state.”

Lieberman advocates a policy of transferring Palestinian towns near the 1967 green line to areas under the control of the PA, and Yisrael Beiteinu has previously campaigned in elections under the slogan, “No loyalty no citizenship.” 

“There is no reason for Umm al-Fahm to be part of the state of Israel”, Lieberman said at the weekend in reference to a large Palestinian town in the center of present day Israel. He then suggested the idea of “donating” Palestinian citizens of Israel to “Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas],” president of the PA in the West Bank.

“This [kind of commentary] shows you how racism is the biggest fuel in the Israeli elections. The Israeli Zionist parties are competing with each other over who can be more racist,” Dr. Barghouti said in response to Lieberman.

With the Israeli elections less than a week away, the rhetoric being used on all sides has become increasingly enflamed. On Sunday February 8, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew the ire of US officials when he said that the establishment of a Palestinian state was now “irrelevant.” 

Netanyahu’s Likud party later clarified his remarks by saying “Netanyahu’s entire political biography is the struggle against the establishment of the Palestinian state.” 

Even the nominally moderate Labor Party has joined in the incitement against Palestinians, with their leader Isaac Herzog previously criticizing Netanyahu for not attacking Gaza hard enough in last year’s Operation Protective Edge, in which 2,205 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed. “You had to hit them on the head and on time… You failed,” Herzog said.


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