Human Rights Day 2017: Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman publicly calls for the boycott of a fifth of Israel’s citizens

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) called today on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly disavow the incendiary statements of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who called this morning to boycott the residents of Wadi Ara and to revoke their citizenship following the demonstrations last night during which police stones were thrown at police cars, buses and the media.

ACRI wishes to remind the Minister of Defense that the appropriate framework for dealing with violence in protest events is to investigate and prosecute those who violated the law. This racist and inciting statement by the Defense Minister tarnishes the image of an entire public. The message to the public is extreme in its severity: in the eyes of a government minister of all Israeli citizens, including its Arab citizens, the forced revocation of the citizenship of some Arab citizens of Israel appears to be a legitimate measure.

This statement joins the delegitimization campaign carried out in recent years against Arab citizens, and is manifested, inter alia, in a growing wave of anti-democratic legislation initiatives that seek to erode the status of elected Arab officials and the status of the Arabic language.

 Sharon Abraham-Weiss, Executive Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel: “Citizenship is a basic right, and any violation of this right undermines the foundations of democracy. The citizenship of the Arab citizens is not an exception in this regard. It is not subject to negotiation and cannot be conditioned or rejected, not even within the framework of political agreements or arrangements. As we mentioned in the Human Rights Report, that we published on the occasion of Human Rights Day, which is marked today, this institutional incitement undermines the foundations of democracy. Legitimizing the transfer plans, either directly or implicitly, means a quick and dangerous race towards dark places.”

The full letter in Hebrew can be read here

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Categories: Arab Citizens of Israel, Democracy and Civil Liberties


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