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ADL blasts Likud MKs for attending launch of anti-Arab book

Katz, Bitan, Zohar, Hazan were at event for tome that calls Israeli Arabs ‘parasites,’ suggests they be put in internment camps

Coalition Chairman David Bitan seen with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (R) during a Knesset committee meeting in the Knesset, on March 23, 2016 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Coalition Chairman David Bitan seen with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (R) during a Knesset committee meeting in the Knesset, on March 23, 2016 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Anti-Defamation League has lambasted top Likud Knesset members for attending a launch event for a book that calls Israeli Arabs parasites and posits that they should be held in camps.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Coalition Chairman David Bitan and MKs Miki Zohar and Oren Hazan all participated in the event in Ramat Gan Wednesday, leading the ADL to condemn the affair Friday as “dangerous and inhumane.”

The book, “The Arab Minority in Israel: Open and Hidden Processes” by historian Raphael Israeli, describes Arabs as a danger to the Jewish state’s future, Haaretz reported. It calls them “parasites” who “suckle at the teat of the state” and “a fifth column” due to their support for the Palestinians.

In one passage Israeli, citing American internment camps for Japanese immigrants during World War II, wonders that “here, despite the Arabs openly identifying with the enemy, no harm will come to them. Not only are they not put into camps, they have permission to stand at our podiums.

“Whoever heard of such a thing, other than in feeble Israel which has lost it will to exist as a Jewish state?”

Following the Haaretz report on the book and the event, the ADL tweeted on Friday: “This is dangerous and inhumane. All of us, including Israeli leaders, have a duty to reject this hateful rhetoric.”

Katz, speaking at the event, praised the tome as one filled with “very profound, very unequivocal insights.” Though he noted that “not everyone will agree with everything or every word, it is deserving of discussion, serious discussion.”

He later said he took issue with some of the book’s contents.

Hazan told Haaretz he regretted attending the event, saying he did not support the book or its blanket statements against Arabs.

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