A Knesset plenum discussion of a bill that seeks to allow Palestinians married to Israelis to get citizenship descended into chaos on Wednesday after a Likud deputy minister called on Arab MKs to turn in their state citizenship cards.
Deputy Interior Minister Yaron Mazuz addressed the plenum, telling Arab MKs, "You are lucky we let you be here," and saying that they should "turn in their citizenship cards. Terrorists will not sit here."
A number of opposition MKs then approached the podium, taking out their citizenship cards to hand over to Mazuz.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then spontaneously took to the podium, somewhat backing away from Mazuz's comments, but criticizing Arab MKs for making "baseless" accusations against IDF soldiers.
"Every Israeli citizen Jewish or not has the right to vote or run for Knesset, but all must obey the law," he said. "No one has the right to accuse IDF soldiers with baseless claims of guilt," he added, accusing those who support flotillas to Gaza while ignoring atrocities in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries of hypocrisy.
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman took the plenum to respond to Netanyahu, saying "the prime minister took the stand to cover up [Mazuz's] incitement, not to stop it."
She added, "I'm a native of this land. No one is doing me a favor by letting me live here."
The Knesset voted against both bills to cancel the government policy of not allowing Palestinians who marry Israelis to get citizenship 18-55 and 17-54 with two abstentions for each.