Adalah files incitement complaint on behalf of Arab Joint List after Netanyahu statement 'Arabs want to destroy all of us'

Netanyahu's statement, which appeared in exchange of digital messages with party activists, not fundamentally different from racist statements made by Michael Ben Ari, for which Supreme Court disqualified him from participating in national elections.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – on behalf of the Arab Joint List – filed complaints to Israel's Central Elections Committee (CEC) chairman and to the Israeli attorney general on Wednesday afternoon, 11 September 2019, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that "the Arabs want to destroy all of us".


Netanyahu's included this statement 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 Joint List, via Adalah, called on CEC Chairman Justice Hanan Melcer to issue a restraining order banning Netanyahu from further illegal dissemination of racist election propaganda, and on Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to open a criminal investigation into the Israeli prime minister's incitement to racism for violation of Section 144 of Israel's penal code.


Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher emphasized in the letter that CEC Chairman Melcer has the inherent authority to prevent election propaganda from being used for incitement racism and to disseminate hate speech against Arab citizens, particularly when this is being done by an election candidate with a widespread public impact.


Adalah stressed that Netanyahu's statements are not fundamentally different from the racist statements made by Michael Ben Ari, for which the Supreme Court disqualified him for participation in Israeli national elections.


Adalah released a statement shortly after the two letters were issued:


"Netanyahu's most recent statement demonstrate a marked increase in his racial incitement against Arab citizens of Israel. 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".


CLICK HERE to read Adalah's letter to CEC chairman [Hebrew]

CLICK HERE to read Adalah's letter to Israeli attorney general [Hebrew]

CLICK HERE to read op-ed by Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher | The disqualification of Arab Knesset candidates: A critical mass of racism


(Photo: Benjamin Netanyahu/Facebook)