A former Israeli prime minister has described senior members of his country's government as fascists. In a blistering attack, Ehud Barak, who also served as Benjamin Netanyahu's defence minister for four years, exchanged barbs with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Barak denounced Shaked and her party saying that the Jewish Home, which is part of Netanyahu's coalition is "headed" by men and women that are "racist and messianic". He also took a swipe at an influential Rabbi, Dov Lior, a Jewish supremacist that has justified the complete destruction of Gaza using Jewish scripture.
The denunciation of Israeli ministers as fascists was made over radio where Barak attacked Shaked after she said if the Supreme Court annulled the "Nation State Law" it would lead to a war between the authorities.
"Ayelet Shaked is like a little boy who hides himself in a pillow and thinks he can't be seen. The young minister reveals incredible ignorance. Anyone who threatens the Supreme Court is ignorant or proto-fascist," Arutz Sheva reported Barak saying.
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The personal attack on Shaked was followed by a condemnation of her party: "The vision of the Jewish Home Party with the man and woman heading it is racist and messianic, with their rabbis Lior and Ginsburgh, the sources of inspiration for the murderer of Rabin and the murderers of the Dawabsha family, who threaten the future of Zionism."
Shaked shot back by mocking Barack and reiterating her position that "legislation is enacted in the Knesset by a democratic majority, not by running to the Supreme Court."
"The Nationality Law itself will certainly not be disqualified in the Supreme Court," she explained, adding that the Supreme Court has no authority to disqualify Basic Laws.
Since being passed by the Israeli Knesset, Israel's Nation State bill has come under sharp condemnation. Critics have denounced it saying that it fully institutionalise apartheid in the country.