Israel’s FM Lieberman, known for his controversial policy to impose a loyalty oath on Israel’s Arab minority, says those who are disloyal to Israel should be beheaded.
HERZLIYA, ISRAEL (RECENT – MARCH 8, 2015) (CHANNEL 2) – Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads an ultra-nationalist party and is a core part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition said on Sunday (March 8) that Israel’s Arab minority, who make up 20 percent of Israel’s eight million population, who are disloyal to Israel should be beheaded.
Lieberman called Israeli Arabs a fifth column and accused them of seeking to destroy the Jewish state.
“Whoever’s with us should get everything,” Lieberman said during a campaign at a college in the coastal Israeli city of Herzliya. “Those who are against us, there’s nothing to be done – we need to pick up an axe and cut off their heads. Otherwise we won’t survive here,” he said as the crowd applauded.
Lieberman has in the past called on Israeli Arabs, who have full and equal rights but often say they are treated as second-class citizens, to take a loyalty oath if they want to remain in Israel, a measure that Netanyahu denounced at the time.
Israeli Arabs are descendants of residents who stayed put during the 1948 war of Israel’s founding, in which hundreds of thousands of fellow Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes, ending up in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Those who remained have long pointed to inferior services and unfair allocations for education, health and housing. More than half of the Arabs in Israel live below the poverty line.
Lieberman, one of the most strident voices in favor of the separation of Jews and Arabs, said in the past that Palestinians living in Jaffa and Acre, two mixed cities on the Mediterranean coast far from the West Bank, should be encouraged to move if they want.
Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party is going it alone in the March 17 poll. Polls predict it will win only five or six seats as his support base, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, integrate more into Israeli society and turn to other parties.