Liberman to Netanyahu: Call off meeting with Odeh

May 21, 2015 13:45

Joint List head sees meeting as opportunity to appeal for equal fund allocation, more access to education and larger budget for Arab municipalities.

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Liberman Netanyahu

Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his meeting with Joint (Arab) List head Ayman Odeh slated for Thursday.

Liberman said the meeting with Odeh, a "staunch opposer to Israel being the State of the Jewish people," would "legitimize forces seeking to bring about the destruction of Israel from within."

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The Yisrael Beytenu head called out Netanyahu for backtracking on his election-day statement warning of Arab voters going en masse to the polls. He said the meeting proves hypocritical to the Prime Minister's March 17th stance.

Liberman compared Odeh to former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying that just like the latter, Odeh is a sophisticated man who, behind his friendly front, seeks to bring about the destruction of Israel.

Netanyahu is meeting with a man who represents terrorism supporters in the Israeli Knesset, Liberman said.

“For me, this will be a working meeting – not a public relations meeting,” said Odeh of the slated meeting. “I carry a great responsibility as the representative of a national minority and a very broad citizenry, living in the reality of institutionalized discrimination.”

The Joint List chairman said he would appeal for an equal allocation of funds, more access to education and a larger budget for Arab municipalities.

He also said he would demand a reform in planning for Arab communities, which would help solve the painful issue of demolitions of homes built without authorization.

Odeh continued, “The government of Israel cannot continue the policy of perpetuating the occupation and the denial of the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.”

Ariel Ben Solomon and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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