Minister Katz: Hamas, Arab MKs have the same goals
Transportation Minister Katz attacks Arab MK's for interrupting VP Pence's Knesset speech: They, Hamas have same goals'; Agrees with AG vs Lieberman on Army Radio playing Yehonatan Geffen music despite comments; On refugees, 'Rwanda may deny, but agreement exists to settle Africans.'
In an interview with Ynet Tuesday, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz attacked the Joint List Knesset members who interrupted US Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the Knesset Monday, saying: "They and Hamas share the same goals. They behaved in a way that Hamas thought praiseworthy."
The Arab legislators also waved signs saying "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine." They were all immediately removed from the plenum by Knesset orderlies. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein ordered they be distanced from the Knesset until the end of the session.
"Hamas, that extremist organization that denies the existence of the State of Israel, praises those who sit in the Israeli parliament and enjoy… but they must go to Gaza and represent the Palestinian parliament of Hamas, as they believe in the same goals; they do not recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," said Katz.
"Some Meretz Knesset members, who do not agree with some of the things said (nevertheless) stood and clapped for Pence, some did not. It is legitimate. It happens the world over. They can also leave quietly, but to wave signs saying that Jerusalem is Palestine's and not Israel's in front of the Vice President, who is a Christian and believes in the rights of the Jews … To sit in the Israeli Knesset and take advantage of the position and the salary and the perks in order to undermine the State of Israel from within—that is completely unacceptable in my opinion," Katz added.
Minister Katz also addressed the official statement by the Rwandan government denying the agreement with Israel to settle asylum seekers on its territory. "Do you believe the Prime Minister or a denial, made under pressure, from Rwanda? I recommend trusting the Prime Minister."
"The plan will proceed. We must send them to where they will not be in danger and leave Israel for its citizens," Katz said.
"I happen to know that when the Prime Minister travelled to Africa this was one of the items on his agenda; and not just with Rwanda, another country as well. They might deny it out of pressure, but they are ready to act," Katz continued.
Regarding the comparison made by artist Yehonatan Geffen between Ahed Tamimi and Anne Frank, Katz called it ridiculous. However, he voiced support for the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit who said that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has no authority to interfere with the content of Army Radio, after Lieberman called the channel's director and instructed him not to play music by Geffen.
"It is a very balanced radio channel, and has a good director who is the only one authorized to make editing decisions," Katz said. "I think that the words of the Defense Minister were him stating an opinion rather than (trying to) implement authoritative measures. The Attorney General said that no such authority exists. I agree with him. Absolutely, the Defense Minister cannot issue instructions regarding Army Radio content."
Regarding what Geffen said, Katz opined that "I believe the public itself should refrain from listening to him. If public opinion is against him then the station will not play him," adding that he "hopes Geffen apologizes for his bizarre statements."