Foreign Minister Israel Katz (Likud) lashed out at members of the Joint List on Sunday, March 8, calling them “terrorists in suits.” “We heard [Blue & White leader MK] Benny Gantz talking about forming a minority government with the support of the members of the Joint List,” Katz said in an interview with Kan public broadcasting radio. “They are terrorists in suits or supporters of terrorists in suits.” On Saturday night, March 7, far-right acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said “[Blue & White leaders] Gantz, [Moshe] Bogie Yaalon, Gabi Askenazi, promised before the elections that they wouldn’t rely on the Joint List because they’re supporters of terror,” adding that now that’s exactly what they’re doing.
In response to Katz’s comments, Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) said, “The Likud are losers in ties.” However, Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) isn’t taking the comments by Netanyahu and Katz in jest. He said that these comments and similar ones by other members of Likud leadership were “dangerous and unrestrained incitement against Arab elected officials.”
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) appealed to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to open an investigation against Netanyahu and Katz for incitement. “This is deranged incitement against the Arab public, and it is particularly serious when it comes from the mouth of a senior government minister against other elected officials from a weaker minority group,” he said.
Racist Transportation Minister, Bezalel Smotrich lashed out on Saturday at two Joint List lawmakers, seeming to call for the expulsion of Arab citzens from Israel with a reference to the late extremist rabbi Meir Kahane. In response to two Joint List MKs vowing to fight discrimination in Israel, Smotrich posted on Twitter the verse from the biblical Book of Numbers (33:55): “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.” “Barbs in Your Eyes” was a phrase used by Kahane to call for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) wrote: “I’ll keep living here in this country, and will keep struggling for a country of all its citizens.”