On Friday, Member of Knesset Avigdor Lieberman, a leader in the extremist Yisrael Beiteinu party, stated that Arab members of Knesset were to blame for the recent attack on a religious school in Jerusalem. MK Lieberman is known for his extreme views including advocating the forced expulsion of ethnic Arabs from Israel and the Occupied Territories.Lieberman stated that “the incitement carried out by Arab members of Knesset, encouraged an Arab resident of Israel, bearing an Israeli identity card, to carry out this attack."
Talking to the Israeli online daily, Ynetnews, Lieberman said that “Israel is drowning in a wave of terrorism, as Qassam shells are continuously fired at Sderot and Ashkelon, and the most dangerous attack which was carried on Thursday in Jerusalem."
He added that Arab members of Knesset are to be held responsible for the Jerusalem attack since, according to Lieberman, they incite against Israel and collaborate with the leaders of terrorist organizations. Lieberman also considers mass protests by Israeli Arabs against the ongoing Israeli killings and shelling of Gaza as illegal and supporting “terrorist crimes against humanity." The protests he referred to were in the town Um Al Fahim.
Liebreman goes on to demand that the Israeli government outlaws several Arab political parties in Israel, “especially parties that reject recognizing Israel as a Zionist Jewish State,” and added that leaders of these parties “seek to destroy Israel as a Jewish state”.
He accused several Arab parties in Israel of collaborating with “terrorist organizations” and “enemies of Israel," adding that this “without any doubt, facilitated the attack in Jerusalem."
Commenting on the statements of Lieberman, Arab member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka said that these statements are incitement for killing the Arabs and should not be ignored.
Zahalka added that Lieberman represents “organized terrorism," and "Arabs in Israel represent the struggle for freedom, equality and a just peace." He also stated that Israeli laws against racism are only “ink on paper” and points to the fact that Lieberman has not been held responsible for his racist comments against the Arabs in the past.
“Racism is not part of the freedom of expression," Zahalka said, “It is a criminal act punishable by law."
Meanwhile, MK Effi Eitam, from the religious Zionist Mafdal party, said that he will file a complaint to the government's legal adviser against the Arab members of Knesset who participated in a protest against the Israeli attacks in Gaza. He added that this protest is "an incitement to murder" and that those legislators should be stripped of their residency rights.
Arieh Eldad, also from the Mafdal party, demanded the government to expel the family of the man who carried the Jerusalem attack. Zbolon Orelev, another party member, echoed this sentiment calling for the family to be expelled to Gaza.