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Incitement complaint filed after Netanyahu statement ‘Arabs want to destroy all of us’

September 12, 2019 at 11:33 am

Israel’s right-wing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu talks during a press conference in Jerusalem on 16 April, 2008 [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

An incitement complaint has been filed against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his recent remarks that “Arabs want to destroy all of us”.

The complaint was filed by legal rights centre Adalah on behalf of the Joint List to the Central Elections Committee (CEC) chair and Israeli attorney general yesterday.

According to Adalah, Netanyahu’s statement was included “in an exchange of digital messages with party activists during which he directed them how to appeal to the Israeli public in election campaign telephone calls,”

The complaint urges CEC chair Justice Hanan Melcer “to issue a restraining order banning Netanyahu from further illegal dissemination of racist election propaganda.”

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Meanwhile, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has been urged to open a criminal investigation into incitement to racism for violation of Section 144 of Israel’s penal code.

In the letter to the CEC chair, Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher stressed that Justice Melcer has the authority “to prevent election propaganda from being used for incitement racism and to disseminate hate speech against Arab citizens”.

“Netanyahu’s most recent statement demonstrate a marked increase in his racial incitement against Arab citizens of Israel,” said Adalah.

“The Israeli Supreme Court has already ruled that Michael Ben Ari’s identical statements constituted grounds for disqualification of his candidacy for Knesset, so there is no disputing that this is unacceptable propaganda. Israel’s Central Elections Committee must issue an immediate injunction to stop this racist incitement.”