MK Sarsour calls Muslims to free J'lem

Speaking in Ramallah, Sarsour emphasizes J'lem's importance to Islam.

ibrahim sarsour 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
ibrahim sarsour 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Ibrahim Sarsour (UAL-TA'AL) drew the ire of right-wing Knesset members on Sunday when he called for "Muslims and Arabs" to "liberate Jerusalem. Speaking at the "Jerusalem First" conference in Ramallah, the lawmaker emphasized the importance of Jerusalem to Islam, and called on participants to "act together to become a torrent on the road to liberation." "Just as the Muslims once liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders, so must we today believe that we can liberate Jerusalem. It is not an impossible dream," he said. MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) accused Israel of trying to "empty Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants." Calling Jerusalem a "national issue, not just a religious issue," he called on Palestinians to take cohesive, immediate action to "reclaim the city." MK Zvi Hendel (NU-NRP) criticized both legislators' remarks and reiterated his call for all Knesset members to take an "oath of allegiance" to the State of Israel before they could serve as lawmakers. Hendel was not the first to propose such a move. Fellow NU/NRP legislator Zevulun Orlev proposed a bill last year that would prevent anti-Israel citizens - particularly Arabs - from serving in the Knesset. A similar bill submitted by Israel Beiteinu MK Estherina Tartman was rejected in October. Hendel also responded to a comment made over the weekend by Minister-without-Portfolio Ghaleb Majadele (Labor), who said he would not sing the national anthem because it was clearly not inclusive of Arab citizens. "How many more times will we take the Arab MKs spitting in our faces and then insist on pretending that it's raining?" Hendel demanded. "The Arab MKs, who continue again and again to fearlessly incite against the Jewish people, its symbols and its holy places, and to cooperate with the most bitter and hateful enemy, must get out of the Knesset." He called on all Zionist lawmakers to unite and ensure that such a move was carried out. In October, Hendel introduced a bill that would require Israelis to sign a declaration of loyalty to the state before being allowed to vote, in an effort to prevent citizens who are "hostile to the State of Israel" from having a say in the government. The bill was overwhelmingly rejected, however, on grounds of racism.