Ya'alon 'perhaps a post-Zionist' for opposing 'Hatikva' requirement for Arab judges, MK says

"In my view, a judge who is unwilling to sing ‘Hatikva’ cannot be a judge in Israel," Robert Ilatov said.

July 24, 2015 21:37
2 minute read.
Moshe Yaalon


Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon "might be a post-Zionist" by virtue of his denunciation of a demand made by a Yisrael Beyteinu lawmaker - MK Robert Ilatov - that all judges must sing the national anthem as a condition of their appointment to the bench.

Shortly after being named to the Judicial Selection Committee, Ilatov made news on Thursday when he declared on Army Radio that refusing to sing “Hatikva” would disqualify candidates from getting his vote to become judges.

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“In my view, a judge who is unwilling to sing ‘Hatikva’ cannot be a judge in Israel, which is the nation state of the Jewish people,” Ilatov said. “I have no problem with those who have already been appointed to the bench. I will not appoint someone who on principle is opposed to the idea of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. I don’t need to aid and abet this."

"So we will have an Arab judge who sings ‘Hatikva.’ What’s the problem?”

Ya'alon on Friday took to social media and condemned Ilatov's proposal, which was also opposed by his colleague on the selection committee, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

"If an Arab or any other minority isn't appointed to the bench because they do not sing the words to 'Hatikva,' that would be tantamount to moral bankrupcy," the defense minister said. "Whoever demands that a non-Jew sing 'as long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart' as a condition for integrating into society maliciously incites against an entire ethnic group and does serious harm to the social fabric of the State of Israel."

"We don't demand that non-Jewish soldiers and officers who risk their lives for the state sing the words to 'Hatikva'," Ya'alon wrote. "We do ask that they respect the anthem by standing at attention and saluting."

Proposals like those by Ilatov "are a Mark of Cain on those who conceive of them," the defense minister wrote.

Ya'alon's condemnation incensed Ilatov, who responded by claiming that the defense minister has no place in the nationalist camp.

"Ya'alon, a man who is known to spout nonsense from time to time, usually tailoring it to his audience only to apologize immediately afterward, is the last person who should be making comments, particularly when what I said about someone who expects to be a judge in Israel having to identify with the national anthem of the state is true," Ilatov said.

"It appears that Ya'alon doesn't understand the significance of a Jewish and democratic state," the lawmaker said. "It's surprising that despite his talk about equality, Ya'alon did not support Yisrael Beyteinu's demand for mandatory national service for all sectors of society, including Israeli Arabs, either in the IDF or any other alternative."

"Ya'alon's position once again reveals that he is not part of the nationalist camp," Ilatov said. "Perhaps he is part of the post-Zionist camp."

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