Former Likud Minister Bashes Own Party for Pushing Apartheid Legislation

In an interview with an American student, Dan Meridor laments Likud’s departure from its roots.

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Former cabinet minister Dan Meridor harshly criticized his past colleagues from the Likud faction for pushing legislation that discriminates against Israeli Arabs and the refugees, claiming they are trying to establish an apartheid state. “All they care about are the territories. Human rights, democracy and equality, it's just not part of their way of thinking.”

Meridor made the statements in a recorded interview with Aaron Magid, an American student, excerpts of which were published on the Walla portal on Monday. “I heard one of them saying he's in favor of human rights but not civil rights [for Palestinians]. Meaning, they shouldn't be allowed to vote. It’s like in South Africa. So I think it’s dangerous... it’s a dramatic departure from the Likud history,” Meridor said.

Meridor, who failed to win a slot on the list for the current Knesset, criticized MK Miri Regev, who called the Sudanese work migrants “a cancer in our body,” and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who demanded that the migrants be held in detention camps. He said, “It’s awful language, and when I heard these statements and others, I could not believe that we belonged to the same group. As far as basic humanity, to hear people talking - to hear Jews talking like this -  about minorities.”

Meridor also expressed his disdain with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s constant comparison of the potential Iranian threat against Israel to the Nazi threat against the Jewish people in 1938. “No. I never compared the situation to the Shoah in Europe. We have the State of Israel, a strong nation. It’s nowhere near 1938,” he said.

He also disagreed with Netanyahu’s order that the Israeli UN delegation walk out during Iranian President Rohani’s speech. “I don’t think that was the right thing,” he said. “This was not the important thing. We have succeeded in isolating Iran. We don't need Iran to isolate us.”

During Meridor’s last term as a Likud minister, he criticized his party colleagues’ attacks on the rule of law, even threatening to quit the government if bills restricting the Supreme Court’s activity were passed into law.

Dan Meridor. Credit: Emil Salman

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