Eli Yishai, the leader of the far-right Yachad party, took an Arab MK to task on Thursday for her ostensible visit to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, but ended up with his foot in his mouth after it turned out that she had in fact visited the Israeli town of Ramle.
The confusion began when a group of Arab politicians, including fiery MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint Arab List, headed to Ramle, a mixed Arab-Jewish town in central Israel apparently for some pre-election campaigning.
Yishai’s campaign HQ, under the impression that the group was heading to Ramallah, was quick to blast Zoabi, who has in the past raised Israelis’ hackles for her provocative statements supporting the Palestinians and condemning IDF soldiers, and for her participation in the Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza.
“Zoabi’s actions prove again and again that her place is in the Gaza parliament,” the statement said according a report from the Hebrew media Haaretz website. “A person who hurts IDF soldiers in the Mavi Marama flotilla, doesn’t recognize the existence of the state of Israel and is meeting with Abu Mazzan [Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas] in Ramallah, must not serve as an official representative of the State of Israel.”
Ramallah, a city in the northern West Bank, is the seat of the Palestinian Authority government.
“Zobai’s action testifies to the true intention of some of the Joint Arab list whose goal is a violation of sovereignty, the state and its institutions,” Yishai continued, referring to the union of Arab political parties who joined together for a combined running list ahead of next week’s election.
Spokesperson for the Joint Arab List Emilie Moatti responded with a message posted to her Twitter account.
“Eli Yishai was quick to put out a notification about a visit by representatives of the Joint List to Ramallah, with all the cliches and racism. But, they visited Ramle, Eli. The city near Lod. Do you know it?”
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