Inciting against, or at best smearing the police on racial grounds has become increasingly common in the West these days, and Israel is no exception.
But an Arab Member of Knesset took things much further in a venomous holiday rant that had even far-left progressives cringing.
Speaking in front of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, a flashpoint of recent Arab violence, MK Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List, called on local Arabs to stop serving in Israel’s police and security forces.
“It is important for me to tell you from here, the Damascus Gate, that it is a humiliation for one of our sons [Arabs] to join the security forces,” insisted Odeh in his Ramadan video address. He urged any Arabs already serving in the Israel Police or IDF to “throw down your weapons.”
But then he went further, effectively inciting against the nation in which he serves as a lawmaker:
“Our historical position is that we will stand with our people to end the murderous occupation so that the state of Palestine [sic] will be established and Palestinian flags will be hoisted on the walls of Jerusalem.”
A chorus of fellow members of Knesset slammed Odeh for his “outrageous” remarks.
“Ayman Odeh incites against the State of Israel and its institutions. We won’t make agreements with him. His place is outside Israel’s Knesset,” tweeted Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev (Labor) called Odeh’s statement “outrageous, dangerous and irresponsible,” noting that “the service of Arab Israelis in the police is a symbol of coexistence and integration.”
Even members of the far-left progressive party Meretz took Odeh to task. “There is or has been an opportunity here to expand the Arab representation in the government, but what he said closes the door on the matter,” said Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan.
Members of the opposition Likud party called on the attorney general to investigate Odeh for incitement against the state and its institutions.