Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, attacked far-right Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday, November 30, for nurturing an atmosphere of loathing and brutality in Israel’s political space. “The hatred and violence that Netanyahu is fanning is spreading like a wildfire – Arabs, leftist Jews, journalists, the legal system and even members of his own party who are ideologically worse than him,” Odeh charged.
“The current prime minister is a dangerous psychopath who knows no limits; a criminal with his back to the wall. Does anyone doubt that he will deny the political motive for the next murder?” Odeh wrote on his Twitter account.
The rebuke came hours after Joint List lawmaker Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al) was attacked on Saturday by a dozen right-wing activists at a Shabbat cultural and political event in the central town of Ramat Hasharon. Protesters held placards accusing Tibi of being a “terrorist” and “murderer.” One sign declared “You’re not wanted here!” while another said “Terrorist supporters — not in our city!” When Tibi arrived, police were forced to stand between him and the racists, who shouted derogatory remarks at the Arab lawmaker. Police detained two protesters suspected of attempting to physically assault Tibi as he entered the premises.
“If a government had been formed with outside support by the Joint List… one of the Arab MKs would have been murdered,” Tibi told the audience. Making reference to long-standing accusations that Netanyahu supported incitement in the days before the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Tibi said: “It’s worked out once for Netanyahu. We’re easier targets than a serving prime minister.”
Also on Saturday, former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit took a swipe at Netanyahu for incitement, writing on Twitter: “When reading the weekend newspapers, and as someone who experienced the process that resulted in the murder of a prime minister, we cannot help but reflect on the possibility that Yigal Amir chapter two is in our midst.” Amir is the convicted assassin of Yitzhak Rabin.
Netanyahu and his fascist supporters have, without offering proof, portrayed Odeh, Tibi and other Joint List lawmakers in recent weeks as supporters of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. As the political deadlock paralyzing much of the country for over a year has continued, Netanyahu has used racist language to lash out at Joint List lawmakers, whom he has accused of thwarting his chances of reaching a coalition agreement with the rival Blue & White bloc. When Blue & White chief MK Benny Gantz was attempting to form a coalition, Netanyahu warned the Israeli public of the possibility that Gantz was planning to form a minority government backed by the Joint List from the outside.
Earlier this month, the prime minister held a rally where he likened a minority government backed by the Joint List to a “terror attack.” He accused members of the Joint List of seeking to “destroy the country,” and claimed, without proof, that the “dangerous Arab MKs supported the Gaza terror organizations that Israel fought against in recent weeks.” Hadash MKs had condemned the targeted assassination of the Islamic Jihad senior commander Baha Abu al-Ata in November as well as the Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza, but none of them had expressed support for Islamic Jihad or its targeting of Israeli civilians.
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- MK Odeh to Netanyahu: “Mister Magician, It’s Time to Disappear”
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