MK Odeh: Lehava, La Familia Should Be Defined as Terrorist Organizations

Hadash lawmakers on Monday called for the fascist Lehava and La Familia organizations to be declared terrorist organizations after their activists chanted violent anti-Arab slogans during the occupied East Jerusalem Day flag march on Sunday.

Videos from Damascus Gate showed groups of participants in the march chanting racist slogans including “Shuafat is on fire,” “Death to Arabs,” “Muhammad is dead” and “The village is burning.” Violent clashes between far-right Jews and Palestinians also broke out in multiple locations around East Jerusalem.

Hadash activists during a demonstration against racist Lehava and La Familia gangs at Zion Square, Jerusalem, December 2014 (Photo: Activestills)

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh (Hadash) sent a letter to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara on Monday demanding that the two far-right organizations be declared terrorist organizations. “The government of change is the one that permitted the ‘death to Arabs’ march of Lehava and La Familia,” tweeted Odeh. “If Lapid and [Defense Minister Benny] Gantz really are against Kahanists, they should declare Lehava and La Familia as terrorist organizations. Less condemnations and more action.”

Gantz stated during a faction meeting that Israel would continue to pursue “the instigators and perpetrators of violence everywhere.” “As defense minister, I believe that the time has come to consider defining organizations such as La Familia and Lehava as terrorist organizations, and I know that the issue is at the doorstep of the defense organizations and trust that the heads of the organizations will do the examination in the cleanest and best way,” said Gantz.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev also called for the organizations to be declared terrorist organizations, saying, “Even before I became a minister, I turned to the attorney-general with the aim of examining the possibility of outlawing La Familia and Lehava.”

Both La Familia and Lehava have been tied to cases of violence against Arabs and peace activists in Israel over the years. La Familia is nominally a fan club of Jerusalem’s Beitar soccer team, though the team has repeatedly distanced itself from the organization due to its racist rhetoric and violent antics. Lehava is a homophobic organization that regularly employs violence mostly against Arab men. Its members have also been involved in arson attacks on churches and mixed Arab-Jewish schools, and one member was recently indicted for sexually assaulting an underage female member of the organization.

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