Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has demanded the dismissal of a civil servant who supports the Palestinian right of return, according to Haaretz.
Makbula Nassar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is responsible for the National Road Safety Authority’s information campaigns in Arabic.
Following an article by Israel Hayom about Nassar’s political activism, Katz responded: “Someone active in anti-Zionist Palestinian organisations and blatantly acting against Israel’s existence isn’t worthy of an educational and informational role for Israel in such an important area as road safety.”
The statement also demanded that “a legal way has to be found to immediately terminate the new employee’s employment at the National Road Safety Authority”.
Katz’s attack prompted a petition by a number of Arab reporters and public figures.
Dismissal based on politics is improper and worthy of condemnation, and is not to be accepted in a democratic society that should revere values of freedom of expression and pluralism
Joint List head Ayman Odeh also backed Nassar: “Israel Hayom has crossed another red line in its persecution of the Arab community when it began a witch hunt against an Arab citizen of the country whose only crime was that she has a political consciousness and views.”
According to Haaretz, “on instructions from the National Road Safety Authority, Nassar declined to respond to the Israel Hayom article, but friends who have been in contact with her said her employers are backing her because proper procedures were followed in hiring her.”