Arab MKs who plan to approach the UN to take action against the nation-state law should be tried for treason, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said on Monday.
Arab Knesset members from the Joint List have joined forces with Palestinian Authority officials by drafting a UN resolution condemning Israel’s nation-state law as well as its claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state. They have also called the law “apartheid.”
In an interview with Army Radio, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that there is no way to define this act by the Joint List MKs other than to call it treason.
“I expect the judicial system to bring these people to justice for this most serious offense and I expect the judicial system to do its job,” he said.
Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein echoed Levin’s sentiments, saying that Israeli MKs from the Joint List are undermining the state. “Members of Knesset from the Joint List, who receive salaries from the state and have all the parliamentary benefits, still dare to discredit our name in the world.
“Those who cooperate with the Palestinian Authority against Israel should ask themselves whether their place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament,” he said.
According to several Hebrew media reports and a statement on Twitter, Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman, who is one of the initiators, responded as saying that the law was dangerous and should also be fought outside of Israel’s borders.
She added that they had not spoken with senior UN officials about the matter, “but after hearing the reactions [from other MKs] we may consider it.”
She added that time and time again they made it clear that such a law “is reminiscent of dark and tyrannical regimes – it’s a law that enshrines discrimination and racial segregation.”
On Monday morning, Joint List MK Dov Khenin slammed the attack on his Joint List colleagues “for their meetings around the world on the national law [that] is anti-democratic and hypocritical, certainly when it comes from close associates of [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu, who [has] met and befriended anti-Semites around the world.”
Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg condemned Levin’s comments as incitement.
“Incitement has consequences, as we’ve seen in recent days against Arabs. The word treason that has been shivering along the skin of every Israeli since the assassination of [Yitzhak] Rabin, this word has been used here for no reason – just because another government minister feels like inciting.”