The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has given overwhelming support to a new law proposed by the Likud-led coalition government which will allow Arab Knesset members (MKs) to be ousted, Anadolu reported on Monday.
The law was first suggested by the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a punishment for the Arab parliamentarians who visited families of the victims of Israeli security forces. The visits were made at the request of a civil society organisation to see if the MKs could help to have the bodies of those killed released by the authorities for burial.
According to Netanyahu and Jewish Knesset members, Israeli media claimed, the visits were “incitement” by the Arab MKs. “We have to keep limits and basic rules of behaviour so that democracy will not turn into a suicide pact,” insisted the Israeli prime minister. “Democracy must protect itself and defend itself.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that the Chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel, Mohamed Barakeh, a former MK himself, described the proposal as a plot to bring “racial purity” to the Knesset. He hinted that Israeli Arabs may consider boycotting the political process: “If someone wants it, we may consider contributing to that racial purity.”