(photo credit: Courtesy)
Deputy Interior Minister Yaron Mazuz demanded on Tuesday that the Knesset Ethics Committee apologize for censuring him.
In a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Mazuz asked that he examine the committee’s behavior and consider dissolving and re-forming it.
Mazuz’s demands came a week after the committee decided to rebuke him for his June comments in the plenum that Arab MKs supported terrorism and should return their national ID cards.
“We’re doing you a favor in letting you sit here at all,” he told the MKs.
The Ethics Committee said the content and style of his remarks were “borderline racist” toward the country’s entire Arab population, and that his behavior was inappropriate and undignified.
Following the decision, Mazuz told reporters he didn’t think the Ethics Committee should exist. He said its members were unqualified to make such decisions, questioned their comprehension skills, and suggested that retired judges do the job instead.
“It cannot be that the Ethics Committee censures me and in the same breath responds weakly to MKs who act against the State of Israel,” he wrote to Edelstein.
The deputy minister accused Joint List MKs Bassel Ghattas and Haneen Zoabi, who participated in flotillas to Gaza, of working with terrorists. Zoabi’s 2010 flotilla voyage ended violently, while Ghattas’s ended peacefully this year.
“I am standing guard for the State of Israel and its citizens and will not allow our security and national strength be harmed,” Mazuz added.