MEMO/Days of Palestine
An Israeli parliamentarian has expressed his support for formal apartheid, backing annexation of entire West Bank, but without its Palestinian inhabitants being granted the right to vote.
MK Miki Zohar, who is chair of the Knessetās Special Committee for Distributive Justice and Social Equality, expressed his views in an interview with Haaretz newspaper.
āWhen we say to the Palestinians, āWe are giving you a state, letās make peaceā ā itās deceiving them,ā Zohar told the paper.
āNo one is going to give them a state, not the left either. I am saying: Letās cut this problem off before it begins and stop with the lies. Weāll tell them: āGuys, no state, live here with us, prosper, earn a living, educate your childrenā.ā
Asked whether he meant that Palestinians in an annexed West Bank would not vote in the Knesset elections, Zohar replied in the affirmative.
āWe must always maintain control over the mechanisms of the state, as the Jewish people that received this country by right and not by an act of charity.ā
Over the years it is very possible the Arabs could become the majority here, and I cannot take this risk.
According to Zohar, such views are ānot extremeā but ārealistic.ā
He continued: āIn my opinion, he [the Palestinian] doesnāt have the right to national identity, because he does not own the land of this country.ā
āI want him as a resident by virtue of my own sense of fairness ā because he was born here and lives here, I will not tell him to leave. Iām sorry to say this, but they have one conspicuous liability: They werenāt born Jews.ā
With respect to Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, Zohar said: āThey will have to choose if they are loyal to the stateā, based on three conditions: ānational service; recognition of the Israeli flag, which would fly above every public institution; and recognizing Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.ā
āAnd this would not be the decision of an individual, but of a public authority. If they canāt meet these criteria, they would no longer be able to vote for the Knesset.ā