Upper Nazareth City Councillor: May the Arabs Disappear

racist and inciting statements

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

Councillors were asked during their weekly meeting to record tpersinal greetings for a short film to be aired during the holiday next week.

When the camera reached City Councillor Ze'ev Hartman, he made his wish for "all the Arabs to disappear". The cameraman was reportedly stunned by the statement and asked Hartman to repeat it for the camera, which the councillor then did.

Following Hartman's remarks, Upper Nazareth's spokesman for Arab Affairs, George Shahada, took the recording and lodged a complaint of racism and incitement with local police.

Hartman has in the past been quoted making racist and inciting statements. In 1998, the Tzomet-Gesher-Moledet party was banned from running in Upper Nazareth municipal elections after a similar complaint was lodged against Hartman, who ran on the faction list.

Hartman said Wednesday he he would not speak to anyone from Haaretz with regard to the latest allegations. Meanwhile, Hartman has issued a complaint of his own against City Hall employees who he said removed him from the meeting by force, hurting his hand which was wounded in the Yom Kippur War.

Upper Nazareth is a sister city to Nazareth, the largest Israeli Arab municipality in Israel.