Liberman Rails at Arab MKs in No-Confidence Debate

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 13, 2017

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday launched a fiery tirade against Arab Israeli lawmakers, branding them "war criminals" and saying they were sitting in Israel's parliament "by mistake" and will soon "go back to Gaza, with Hamas, or Ramallah".

Lieberman returned to this topic yesterday, telling the Knesset: "I'm looking at the terrorists who came from Wadi Ara in recent years..."

The no-confidence motion argued that the government "is advancing a policy based on war crimes". During the debate, Lieberman said, "Every day in the Middle East some 400 people are murdered in Arab countries, with close to 1,000 people wounded". In Yemen, 160 people were killed in one day.

The comments came a day after the defense minister urged a boycott of Arab Israeli businesses in an area that saw riots over US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Is someone talking about war crimes?

The Joint List lawmakers are "war criminals", charged Liberman. When I look at the number of people involved in terror and who were arrested before carrying out attacks, they are not individuals and not on the margins.

"The right to protest is a basic right and it doesn't matter if it's left or right". Eventually, however, this only led them to unite under the "Joint List" which became Israel's third largest party in the Knesset.

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Responding to the criticism, Liberman doubled down on his boycott call.

Every society has "wild weeds", Lieberman said, but as long as the religious and political leadership condemns them, it's a very different situation.

He has also proposed conditioning the Arabs' continued Israeli citizenship on them taking oaths of loyalty to the Jewish state.

Liberman added that the members of the Joint Arab List "exploit the weaknesses and advantages of the democratic state in order to destroy us from within". I have no illusions.

Avigdor Lieberman was speaking in a televised parliamentary debate on a motion of no confidence in the right-wing government filed by the mainly Arab Joint List alliance.

Presenting the motion, Joint List lawmaker Hanin Zoabi said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "should be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, because he is a war criminal".

"In this country evil is the name of the game; it's the accepted norm that has always characterised its policy".

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