Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz accused Belgium of not doing enough to fight terrorism a day after deadly attacks on Brussels, while presenting his bill to deport terrorists’ families to the Knesset House Committee Wednesday.
“The first rule of war is know your enemy, and Europe and the current American government are unwilling to define this war as against Islamist terrorism,” Katz said. “If Belgians continue eating chocolate and enjoying life and looking like great democrats and liberals, and not noticing that some of the Muslims there are planning terrorism, they won’t be able to fight them.”
“The whole world saw the attacks on Brussels yesterday.
Islamic State took responsibility for massacring innocent civilians out of a murderous ideology that sanctifies murder over the Western ideologies that we are part of.
“This is an all-out war, not one about one border or another,” Katz added.
MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) tweeted in response to Katz’s comments: “The government came up with a plan to eradicate terrorism: Stop eating chocolate.”
Katz explained to the House Committee, before it voted to waive the six-week waiting period for bringing his bill to the plenum, that deporting terrorists’ families would be a deterrent.
“If families knew that if they are involved in supporting [terrorism] there will be consequences, they will prevent the attack,” he posited.
MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) asked why the committee was hosting a press conference about Belgium.
House Committee chairman David Bitan (Likud) said that, contrary to the arguments from the opposition, the bill does not contradict any Basic Laws.
“The courts are publicly and morally committed to help us fight terrorism,” he said.
“The court has already established in a way that is very clear that we can make sure there is public order and deport individuals.”
MK Osama Saadi (Joint List) called the bill a “black stain on democracy.”
“Israel cannot pass laws about Palestinian residents who are citizens of the Palestinian Authority,” he argued.
The bill does not specifically refer to Palestinians.
“How are you defending terrorists?” MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) asked. “How do you not support this bill when your people [Israeli Arabs] are attacked, too?” MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) wondered why former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, was allowed to get married in prison and have children, but other terrorists’ families will be deported.
“It’s not a trend with [ Jews]. With you, it’s a phenomenon,” MK Shuli Moallem- Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi) responded.
MK Miki Zohar (Likud) said the bill isn’t against Israeli Arabs in particular, calling them “an integral part of the country,” rather it refers specifically to terrorists.
“If a family encourages terrorism or supports it, it has no place in Israel. Anyone who does the opposite will get all the rights,” he said.