Lieberman calls on Peretz to resign for appointing an Arab minister

January 12, 2007 12:28 PM IMEMC & Agencies Israel, Israeli Politics, News Report 0

The Israeli Minister of so-called 'Strategic Affairs', Avigdor Lieberman, called on the Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz to resign after the latter appointed an Arab minister, and said that Peretz is unfit to remain in his post.

The statements of Lieberman came after Peretz appointed Raghib Majalda as a minister of Science and Technology.

Majalda is the first Arab in the Israeli history to be appointed as a minister.Lieberman said that Peretz “had abused his position as a minister of defense\’ therefore he is “not worthy of holding his position”. 

The statements of Lieberman came after his faction “Yisrael Betenu” (Israel our Home) condemned the appointment.Yisrael Betenu member of Knesset Esterina Tartman harshly slammed the appointment and described it as “a lethal blow to Zionism."

Tartman stated that the appointment of Arab Labor member of Knesset, Majalda, as minister of science and technology damages "Israel's character as a Jewish state", Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported. 

She added that Peretz appointed Majalda to strengthen his power within the Labor party."Peretz is making a sacrifice of Zionism," Haaretz quoted Tartman saying, "He has crossed all the red lines. Israel is a Jewish state and should be run according to Jewish principles."She also called on the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, not to approve the appointment of Majalda “in order to protect the state of Israel as a Jewish and a Zionist state”. 

Likud member of Knesset, Michael Eitan, said that the Knesset must hold a debate session on “the racist remarks of Tartman”.Several Labor members of Knesset called on Peretz to convene a party institutions session to consider the participation of the part in the government coalition after the remarks of Tartman.

Haaretz also said Yoram Marciano, head of the Labor faction in the Knesset, called on the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to oust Yisrael Beiteinu from the coalition, and called on the Labor party to reconsider whether it can remain in the government coalition with the “racist party”. 

Meretz member of Knesset, Yossi Beilin, called on the Israeli Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, to check whether there is a justification for a criminal investigation in the remarks of Tartman.

Also, an Arab member of Knesset from the Likud party, Mjally Wahbe, said that it is too sad that there are people who are still talking in racist tones instead of talking about cooperation.

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