The chairman of the predominantly Arab Joint List political faction released a video in which he called on all Arab-Israeli police officers to walk off the job.
By Erin Viner
The call came after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised Arab citizens who serve in the nation’s defense establishment “I am proud of Arab soldiers in the IDF, Arab soldiers in Israel Police and all members of the security forces, from all religions and sectors, who protect us in these days,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
Arab-Israeli Knesset Member (MK) Ayman Odeh responded by urging members of his community to refuse orders.
“Young Palestinians with Israeli citizenship told me that they were harmed and humiliated,” he said on the video, stressing that, “it is humiliating for one of our sons to join the security forces of the occupation. The forces here are humiliating our people, humiliating our families and humiliating everyone who comes to pray.”
He went on to state that, “Our position is that we will be with our people to end the murderous occupation so that Palestine will rise, Palestinian flags will be hoisted on the walls of Jerusalem and peace will spread on the land of peace. The young people must not join the occupying forces. Throw the weapon in their face and tell them that our place is not with you. We will not be part of the injustice and the crime,” adding that, “Our place is with justice and truth – against the occupation,” he said. “Our place is the natural place, a noble part of the Palestinian Arab people, and in a just war to bring an end to the criminal occupation. For peace to rest on the land of peace.”
Odeh’s remarks come amid the deadliest wave of Arab/Palestinian terror in years. They also come in the wake of the murder of 32-year-old Christian Arab police officer Amir Khoury, who fell in the line of duty while stopping the deadly terror attack in Bnei Brak on 29 March.
According to the Israel police, Odeh’s statements could spark rebellion against them and greater violence. The force has contacted the State Attorney’s Office to investigate whether the remarks constitute incitement.
Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev condemned the statements as “outrageous, dangerous and irresponsible.”
“The service of Israeli Arabs in the police is a symbol of coexistence and integration,” said Bar-Lev. “The late Amir Khoury is an Israeli hero. He was an Arab-Israeli. Amir is a symbol of coexistence and integration. Police officers from Arab society are an important part of the police in the fight against crime and terrorism, and this trend will continue to intensify.”
Likud MK Shlomo Karhi launched a campaign to impeach Odeh from the plenum, which requires the signatures of 70 of the Knesset’s overall 120 members on an initial petition and eventual vote by 90 lawmakers to expel him.
Despite widespread revulsion over his stance, Odeh released yet another video that not only reiterating but expanding his call for Israeli Jews to resign their security positions in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
In a statement filmed for Muslim observance of Ramadan at the flashpoint Damascus Gate entry into Jerusalem’s Old City, the Joint List MK proclaimed his ‘ultimate goal’ of seeing ‘the Palestinian flag flying over Jerusalem.’
Refused to apologize during an interview with Israeli Channel 12 news, Odeh called on all Israeli citizens – Arab or Jewish – to not join what he referred to as “the occupation forces.”