MK Jamal Zahalka, the chairman of the Arab-majority Balad party, filed a complaint with the police on Tuesday against MK Oren Hazan (Likud) for incitement to murder.
Zahalka, who is currently still a member of the Joint List, will also file a separate complaint with the Central Elections Committee, requesting a ban on a video clip posted on Facebook by Hazan's Tzomet, the new party he launched ahead of the general election on April 9.
The clip features a scene from the Western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," with Hazan and Zahalka’s heads replacing those of two of the movie’s characters, in which Hazan shoots and kills Zahalka. Zahalka also asked Facebook to remove the clip, citing its racist, violent and inciteful content.
"In Hazan’s video clip, he is seen playing the role of the 'Ugly,' and that is truly the description he deserves," said Zahalka. "But this is not a movie, instead it is a call for murder. In an atmosphere which fuels incitement against the Arab public and its representatives, this is dangerous – very dangerous,” said Zahalka.
"Oren Hazan, in addition to his being a terrifying racist, has proven to us time after time how low he is ready to go in order to win a few votes while fueling hatred of Arabs," said a spokesman for Zahalka. He described the video as the latest one in a long series of incidents of anti-Arab racism: "This disgusting video is just one example of many," he said.
The complaints were filed with "the hope that maybe, finally, the law enforcement authorities will find it appropriate to bring to justice [Hazan’s] clear and unequivocal incitement to murder a public figure," he concluded.
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Hazan swiftly reacted to the accusations and denied the clip was racist or anti-Arab. "The terrorist Zahalka’s chutzpah and cynicism has no limits. He makes cynical use of Israeli democracy, like the rest of his terrorist colleagues," he said.
Hazan added that "Zahalka was convicted of terrorism and exploited, along with his comrades, the helpers of Arafat, the Knesset stage to incite to murder IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians, incitement whose results we see daily."
When Zahalka was in 12th grade, he was convicted of being a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which at the time was an illegal organization in Israel, and he was sentenced to two years in prison.