Arab MK calls for ‘Palestinian flags on the walls of Jerusalem,’ could face charges

Calls to oust Odeh from Knesset, charges of treason begin after his rant against Arabs serving in the IDF and the police force.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Arab Joint List, caused an uproar when he called for Arab-Israelis to resign en masse from the Israeli security forces on Sunday.

“I am proud of the Arab soldiers in the IDF, the Arab police in the Israel Police and all members of the security forces, from all religions and sectors, who are guarding us these days,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated.

“Ayman Odeh incites against the State of Israel and its institutions. We won’t make agreements with him. His place is outside Israel’s Knesset,” Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked tweeted.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Odeh said that Arabs should never work for the police or the army, which aid the “murderous occupation.”

“Our historical position,” he added, “is that we will be with our people to end the murderous occupation so that the State of Palestine will be established and there will be Palestinian flags on the walls of Jerusalem.”

Many lawmakers agree that Odeh’s statements fall under the legal category of incitement, and some are calling it treason.

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Writing to the attorney general, MK Ofir Katz of the Likud said, “The state must open an investigation against terrorist supporter Ayman Odeh. At the height of the wave of terrorism, Odeh committed a clear offense of sedition and incitement in his harsh words against the security forces. His place is in prison, not in the Knesset.”

Party colleague MK Shlomo Karhi has begun asking his fellow legislators to help him implement the Dismissal Law in Odeh’s case.

The Knesset Basic Law stipulates that the Knesset may terminate the membership of an MK who supports an armed struggle against the state and supports the enemy.

It is not an easy task, however, as 70 MKs must first sign a demand for a Knesset committee to convene on the issue. Two thirds of the committee must approve the move, and then three quarters of the full plenum – 90 MKs – must vote for the ejection.

Criticism was not in short supply from the left, either, although it concentrated on the blow it caused to Arab-Jewish coexistence.

Echoing several of his colleagues on Radio 103FM Monday, Deputy Minister of the Economy, Yair Golan (Meretz) called Odeh’s words “a very serious act,” “a fatal mistake” and “a horrible and terrible statement, acting against the Arab public and the State of Israel.”

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“We are looking for partnership, the ability to live together…. I think Ayman Odeh’s statement works against this trend, and in this respect is harmful to the Arab citizens of Israel,” he said.

Likud backbencher Keti Sheetrit said that Odeh’s statement was not unusual – if one is listening in the correct language.

“The truth is I was not surprised,” she said. “If we just listen every time to what they say in Arabic and not Hebrew we will understand how much these people should be MPs in Ramallah or Syria.”