(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to outlaw the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee.
In a letter to the defense minister, Lieberman said that the body presented "a threat to Israel's existence as a Jewish, Zionist state."
Lieberman addressed the committee's opposition to mandatory national service for Israeli Arabs, characterizing it as anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist. "There can be no doubt that [the committee's rejection of national service] is incitement to hatred andâ€¦ civil revolt," Lieberman continued.
Lieberman's proposal garnered harsh responses from Arab politicians. MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) asserted that the monitoring committee was the "umbrella organizations of Arab citizens' legitimate, elected representatives. It is [the committee's] right and obligation to carry out the will of the Arab minority that was here before Lieberman the settler arrived."
Hadash Chairman Muhammad Barakeh called Lieberman a "serial inciter" and said that Lieberman's political stature had grown in the "filthy, rotten swamps of racism and hatred."
Barakeh said that Israel's Arab population and its institutions did not need Lieberman to grant them legitimacy.
Committee chairman Abed Anabtaweh said his organization was "thankful and proud" to present a threat to "Israeli fascism, especially that which is currently in power, represented by Lieberman and others."