The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (B’Tselem) today condemned lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir’s threats to expel Arabs who question the country’s policies.
History shows that such statements should be taken seriously, he warned.
Orly Noy, board member of B’Tselem, in an article published in the Middle East Eye news portal.
During an interview with Army Radio this week, the leader of the Jewish Power Party announced that if he is part of the next government that will “work against Israel on the 1st” and then drive them out.
Noy denounced that Ben Gvir’s interlocutors seemed to be trying to portray his ideas as illusory and absurd, but explained that given the country’s reality and its historical policy towards the Palestinian people, the threats “are far from being just a theoretical exercise “.
The activist recalled that this deputy was the youth coordinator of the extremist organization Kach, founded by radical Rabbi Meir Kahane, an advocate of expelling all Arabs from the country.
Israel no longer denies deporting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948, but instead turned that strategy into a model to follow, Noy said.
In this vein, he cited recent deportation threats from MP Yisrael Katz, a member of the Likud party led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
These comments confirm that “Israeli political discourse generally sees the mass deportation of Palestinian citizens of Israel as another option on the table,” he stressed.
Last June, Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana said he would like to press a button to expel the 1.9 million Arabs living in the country.
Ben Gvir is known for his actions against Palestinians, which are criticized even in Israel.
That year, she set up an office in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem, sparking a new wave of clashes after protests from local residents.
For years, Ben Gvir kept in his living room a photograph of Baruch Goldstein murdering 29 Palestinians in the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994.