Israeli Lawmaker Lauds Chinese 'Re-education' Camps for Muslim Minority as Tool to Combat Terror

Likud MK Oren Hazan says that with camps holding Uighurs, China 'found the right legal outline to combat terrorism'

Internment camp in the outskirts of Hotan
HANDOUT / NYT

Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan expressed support on Friday for China's method of incarcerating members of its Muslim minority in "re-education camps," and suggested Israel should follow suit.

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"Tearing down homes – the High Court prevents it. Deporting families – it's already losing it," Hazan wrote on Twitter, referring to Israeli government efforts to penalize the families of individuals convicted of terrorism. "Then came the Chinese and apparently found the right legal outline to combat terrorism – as I am sure there is no convention, not even in Geneva, that in 2018 objects to proper education. I'm for it."

Hazan recently resumed participating in Knesset sessions after a six month suspension, a result of his remarks against fellow MKs, particularly from the Joint List.

Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan at party convention in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 25, 2018
\ Moti Milrod

The controversial lawmaker recently drew fire for tweeting that he doesn't blame Israeli Arab news anchor Lucy Aharish for "seducing a Jewish soul" after she married actor Tzachi Halevy.

“I do blame Tzachi 'the Islamicizing' Halevy, who took Fauda a step too far – Bro stop being delusional. Lucy, it’s not personal, but you should know Tzachi is my brother and the Jewish people are my people, stop the assimilation!” he tweeted. 

In November, Hazan called Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, who uses a wheelchair, "half a man."

A million people, most of whom are Uighur – the Muslim minority in China, are detained in camps in northwestern China, according to assessments.

Former detainees who spoke to The Associated Press described the internment camps as facilities policed by armed guards where Muslims were forced to disavow their religious beliefs, criticize themselves and their loved ones and give thanks to the ruling Communist Party.

Beatings and deaths have been reported despite authorities’ tight control on information from the region.

The detention program has swept up people, including relatives of American citizens, on ostensible offenses ranging from accessing foreign websites to contacting overseas relatives.

Other aspects of the security crackdown the AP has detailed include all-encompassing digital surveillance, mass deployment of police and severe regulations against religious customs and dress.

China denies such internment camps exist but says criminals involved in minor offenses are sent to “vocational education and employment training centers” to help with their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

AP contributed to this report.