'May the Arabs Disappear'

A complaint of racism and incitement was lodged against an Upper Nazareth city councillor who called for Arabs to "disappear" in videotaped Independence Day greeting to local residents.

During the weekly city council meeting, members were asked to record personal greetings for a short film to be aired during next week's holiday.

When the camera reached Ze'ev Hartman, he wished for "all the Arabs to disappear." The cameraman, reportedly stunned, asked Hartman to repeat the statements, which he did.

The city's spokesman for Arab Affairs, George Shahada, took the recording to local police and made the complaint.

Hartman has been quoted making racist and inflammatory statements in the past. In 1998, his Tzomet-Gesher-Moledet list was banned from the municipal election following a similar complaint.

Hartman yesterday refused to speak to Haaretz about the allegations. He submitted a counter-complaint against municipal workers for allegedly aggravating a war injury when they ejected him from the council meeting.

The mainly Jewish Upper Nazareth adjoins the Arab city of Nazareth.