Arab-Israeli MK backtracks, claims inflammatory remarks were ‘mistranslated’

After facing possible criminal charges and removal from Knesset, Odeh says remarks calling for Arab police officers to revolt were “mistranslated.”

By World Israel News Staff

Arab-Israeli lawmaker and chair of the Joint List party Ayman Odeh is playing down his incendiary remarks calling for Arab citizens of Israel serving in Israel’s police force to revolt, claiming that his comments were mistranslated in Hebrew.

In a conversation with Arabic-language news channel Hala on Tuesday, Odeh said that the uproar over an incendiary video he uploaded to social media, which may see him face criminal charges for incitement and treason and removed from the Knesset, was essentially a misunderstanding.

“It is a disgrace that a young man or his family will accept that one of our [Arab Israeli] sons joins the security forces [IDF or Israeli police],” Odeh said in the video.

He called on “young people who have already joined [the security forces] to throw their weapons at [Israelis] in the face and tell them our place is not with you, we will not be part of injustice and crime.”

Odeh’s remarks were particularly ill-timed, as Arab-Israeli police officer Amir Khoury was recently killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend the Bnei Brak terrorist.

According to Odeh’s apparent line of reasoning, Khoury should not have been serving in the police and protecting Israeli citizens from murderous terror and crime.

Walking back his comments, Odeh claimed that his use of the term “security forces” applied only to the “occupation army,” not the police.

However, he immediately contradicted himself by saying that he had called “on young people not to enlist in the occupation army which harms and harasses anyone who goes to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.”

“We are not a part, and we must not be a part, of the Isaeli occupation machine against our deprived Palestinian people who are fighting a just struggle to achieve their freedom and bring the occupation to an end,” Odeh continued.

Israeli police are part of the security forces used to enforce law and order and protect the public in Jerusalem, so according to Odeh’s definition, they would also be part of the alleged “occupation forces.”