Days of Palestine, Reports –Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was severely criticised over warning Arab voters to use arms to prevent them heading to ballot boxes.
During the elections, Netanyahu frankly expressed his concerns over the high Arab turnout and warned he would take up “arms” to supress their right to vote.
“We have only a call to arms,” Netanyahu told his supporters when he spoke to them urging for more votes to make balance with the Arab voters.
In a short video went viral on social media, Netanyahu said: “The rule of the right [extremist Israeli parties] is in danger… Arab voters are coming in droves to the ballot boxes. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them in buses.”
He continued: “We have no V15 movement,” referring to a group that has been advocating for him to be replaced. Warning the Arab voters, he said: “We have only a call to arms.” Then, he called for his supporters to “go out to the polling stations; bring your friends and family members.”
‘Netanyahu is panicking’
Arabs went for the elections in a Joint List and Arab voter turnout reached 64 percent, significantly higher than the 57 percent rate of the 2013 elections, but still much lower than Israeli national average of 71.8 percent, which was a 15-year record.
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“Netanyahu is panicking, inciting against Arab voters who are fulfilling their natural and democratic right like any other citizen,” said Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi. He called for Netanyahu to publically apologise for the Arabs.
A famous Arab TV Presenter, with Israeli ID, Lucy Aharish commented: “Next time a murder takes place, it will be as though the prime minister sanctioned it by saying it’s OK to hate Arabs.”
During his electoral campaign, he also turned his back to the peace process with the Palestinians, pledging no two-state solution, no divided Jerusalem and yes for settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In an interview with Huffington Post, US President Barack Obama commented on Netanyahu’s remarks as saying “that is not the recipe for stability in the region.”
He continued: “We take him at his word… So that is why we have got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we do not see a chaotic situation in the region.”