VIDEO - Israel Our Home Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that “Arab Knesset Members who collaborate with the enemy an meet with Hamas heads should be dealt with sternly”
"At the end of the Second World War, not only criminals were executed in the Nuremberg trials, but also those who collaborated with them. I hope that will be the fate of the collaborators in this house," Lieberman declared.
Video: Knesset Channel
He continued: "We demanded in that in the basic principles it be written: All those who incite and cooperate with terror and who sit in this house – should be punished. All those who continue to freely meet with Hamas, with Hizbullah, who go to make visits in Lebanon.
“Just two days ago they declared Israel's Independence Day as Nakba day (day of disaster) and raised black flags. There is a directive on terrorism, according to which those who collaborate with it must face the law," Lieberman added.
MK Ibrahim Sarsur (United Arab List-Ta’al) filed a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee against the “severe and racist comments made by Avigdor Lieberman from the Knesset platform against Arab MKs.”
MK Raleb Majadele (Labor) was infuriated by Lieberman’s statements and interrupted him by calling out comments throughout the speech.
“Lieberman continues to provide racist slogans in order to create a divide between Jews and Arabs. With all respect to him, he came to Israel 20 years ago, while we built it and established it. He doesn’t respect the tenets of democracy. Arab MKs, which he claims are collaborators, were elected to the Knesset same as he was by the people of Israel,” Majadele said.
Meanwhile, MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said: “Fascists always need racism as a life drug. Lieberman’s comment crosses all red lines. I expect the Knesset speaker to take a clear and unequivocal stand against this immoral statement.”
MK Chaim Oron (Meretz) responded: “Lieberman’s racist and dark statements provide a good explanation for why he was excluded from the coalition and raises astonishment why Olmert ever pursued him. The 17th Knesset is in trouble if it doesn’t denounce these comments.”
Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh said in response that Lieberman “is linking legitimate stands with the Nuremburg trials in a repulsive manner. If anyone should be judged, it is mobsters like Lieberman."
Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, also reacted to Lieberman's comments: "A man who compares Arab MKs to Nazis is ignorant who doesn't know what the Nazis did to his people."
"A man like Lieberman is a shame to Jewish people. It seems that Yorg Heider lives in Israel," a message released by the center read.
Following the criticism, Lieberman later said at the Knesset: "There is no difference between Rabbi Hirsch and Ibrahim Sarsur, Neturei Karta and the Islamic Movement. They are both collaborators of global terror."
"I do not intend to go back on any word. On the contrary, I plan to implement every word I said," he added.
'This coalition is patently against immigration'
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continued to express hope that Israel Our Home will join the government. Lieberman, for his part, also attacked the economics of the government: "I made a small calculation, and found that NIS 5 billion (USD 1.1 billion) were distributed in coalition agreements on 1001 things. Among others, NIS 84 million (USD 19 million) were allocated to developing and renovating religious buildings. I am all for that. But why is there not even one shekel for building a club for immigrants? You couldn't find, in the whole of the budget, in all of those millions, one shekel for immigration and absorption? Is this not complete madness?"
Lieberman said that "this coalition is patently against immigration and I call on all of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are in Kadima's list to rise and leave it. If you have a little bit of a conscience, if you have some loyalty to those voters who you cheated and lied to, get up and leave – vote against this government."
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the large number of ministers in the new government to be sworn in Thursday evening.
"There has never been such a wasteful government. There has never been such a large government on such a small coalition," said Netanyahu during a speech in the Knesset.