Far-right Lawmaker Calls to Outlaw Israel's Arab Political Parties

As Israel inches closer to November 1 election, right-wing lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich attacks the Arab parties, calling them 'the most dangerous security threat today'

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich.
Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich called for Israel's Arab political parties to be completely outlawed on Monday during a speech that was nominally about counter-terrorism.

Speaking at Reichman University's World Summit on Counter-Terrorism ahead of November's approaching election, Smotrich dubbed Israel's Arab parties "the most dangerous security threat to Israel today".

"They are the first to lead the hostile discourse against Israel and against its right to exist," he said, calling for the parties to be outlawed and their members banned from the Knesset.

Last month, Smotrich's Religious Zionism party agreed on a joint run for the Knesset with Itamar Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yehudit party, following a meeting brokered by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit has swelled in support since it entered the Knesset last year, with recent polls showing that Ben-Gvir's party could have secured as many as nine seats in a solo run, leaving Religious Zionism in its wake and hovering around the 3.25-percent electoral threshold.

Similarly to Smotrich, Ben-Gvir has also advocated for extremist policies targeting the Arab community in Israel, for instance calling to deport citizens who are "disloyal to Israel".

According to a Channel 12 News poll published on Saturday evening, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir's party could win 11 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, and therefore become the fourth largest (After Netanyahu's Likud, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and Benny Gantz's National Unity Party).

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism