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> Last update - 15:53 11/09/2006
> Leftist MKs blast Eitam's statements on Arabs, urge AG to investigate
> By Jack Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
> Left-wing lawmakers reacted furiously Monday to statements made by
> rightist Knesset Member Effi Eitam against Israeli Arab politicians
> and Palestinians in the West Bank, and called for attorney general
> Menachem Mazuz to open an investigation into Eitam's comments on
> grounds of incitement to racism.
> Eitam, a member of the right-wing National Union-National Religious
> Party sparked a political firestorm Monday when he said that the
> great majority of Palestinians in the West Bank should be expelled,
> and that Arabs should be ousted from Israeli politics as a fifth
> column and "a league of traitors."
> The remarks, broadcast Monday on Army Radio, were made during a
> Sunday speech at a memorial service for a soldier killed in Lebanon
> during the recent war.
> It was the first time that Eitam, who heads the Religious Zionism
> faction within the National Union, has publicly supported deportation
> of Palestinians, a concept espoused by assassinated National Union
> Rehavam Ze'evi as "transfer."
> "We will have to expel the great majority of the Arabs of Judea and
> Samaria," Eitam urged, referring to the whole of the West Bank.
> According to Eitam, experience showed that Israel cannot give up the
> area of the West Bank. "It is impossible with all of these Arabs, and
> it is impossible to give up the territory. We've already seen what
> they're doing there."
> Turning to the subject of Israeli Arabs, Eitam said, "We will have to
> take another decision, and that is to sweep the Israeli Arabs from
> the political system. Here, too, the issues are clear and simple.
> "We've raised a fifth column, a league of traitors of the first rank.
> Therefore, we cannot continue to enable so large and so hostile a
> presense within the political system of Israel."
> Beilin: Bring Eitam to trial
> Yossi Beilin, the leader of the left-wing Meretz party, urged
> Attorney General Menachem Mazuz Monday to bring Eitam to trial on
> charges of incitement to racism.
> Beilin's call was based on an amendment to the law which grants
> lawmakers immunity from prosecution. The amendment lifts the immunity
> from legislators who incite to racism or ethnic prejudice. Earlier in
> the day, Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan called on Mazuz to open an
> investigation against Eitam, on suspicion of incitement and sedition.
> Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) said Monday that "Eitam's remarks
> would have been more authentic, had they been delivered in German."
> "These are irresponsible statements," Tibi told the radio, "directed
> at the lowest level of the racism surging within Israeli society."
> "A long time ago the racists and fascists moved from the Israeli
> street to the Israeli government and the halls of power" added Tibi.
> Peace Now leader Yariv Oppenheimer said that the words of Eitam "show
> that the dogma of [slain extreme right-wing Rabbi Meir] Kahane is
> alive and well. In a moment of candor, the mask was removed from
> Eitam's face, exposing him as a leader of fantasy and racism."
> Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh said that the attack on the representatives
> of Arab citizens of Israel was an attempt to "delegitimize the Arab
> population entirely and to negate their right to voice their opinions
> and participate in the political process."
> According to Barakeh, the measures proposed by Eitam are already
> being implemented, as the Palestinians, "are witness to many steps to
> push them aside and expel them from their homeland, among them the
> security fence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The policies of siege,
> starvation, and negation of the basic right of human dignity are a
> means of extremely dangerous ethnic expulsion.
> "You don't need trucks to transfer Palestinians."