Just when I think that things can’t get more bizarre in Israel/Palestine, I find myself having to revise that statement.
The leader of the Jewish ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, Avigdor Liberman, caused quite a stir when he called for the execution of Israeli Arab MPs who have had contact with Hamas.
Yes, you read that right: Execution for Arab MPs who have had contact with Hamas.
“During the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II not only the criminals but their accomplices were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in this house too,” Liberman said in Parliament.
Hamas, of course, has been isolated diplomatically and financially by Israel, The US and The EU who regard Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Liberman went on to say: “We demanded that the (government) guidelines specifically mention that all those who incite and collaborate with terrorism sitting in this house bear the full punishment.”
In response to Liberman’s “Nazi” comments Israeli Arab MP Ahmed Tibi replied, “It is a serious thing to compare members of the Knesset to Nazi criminals because of their ethnic group.”
Bowing to no one, Liberman took the podium again:
“There is no difference between Neturei Kartha and the Islamic movement – both of them collaborate with the Islamic terrorism,” he said.
The Neturei Kartha are a small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who consider the creation of the Jewish state an abomination and call for its destruction. Several of their leaders have met with Iranian and Hamas leaders in recent months.
Israeli Arab MP Taleb a-Sanah, who has met with Hamas leaders in recent months, branded Liberman’s statements as “incitement,” and called Liberman a “sick person.”
Liberman is originally from Russia. His party was left out of the coalition government led by Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party after talks between the two parties broke down.