MK Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab Joint List party, on Monday claimed that there are Jewish Knesset members who “murdered Arabs with their own hands”.
Odeh, who made the remarks in an interview on Channel 2 News after the Knesset's Constitution Committee approved a bill that would allow the Knesset to remove members with a majority of 90 votes, particularly pointed out MK Avi Dichter (Likud), who was in the past head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).
"There is a hegemony that I cannot politically and morally accept – the hegemony which says that only people who promote the nationality law are legitimate,” Odeh argued, in reference to a law promoted by Dichter in the past which would enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
“No – they are extremists, and we will not accept it,” he continued, adding, “There are MKs who sent people to kill the leadership of the Palestinian people – Dichter sent people who killed [former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser] Arafat, as well as well as [senior Hamas leaders] Ahmed Yassin and Rantissi, and he is in the Knesset. He sent people to murder other people."
Odeh further argued that only the population that elected him should be permitted to remove him from office.
"I am an elected official, I was not elected by the right. Only the public that elected me can dismiss me,” he said. “How can MKs oust their colleagues? This not only harms us, but also harms democracy. This is the trend being led by Prime Minister who understands the power of the population which makes up 20% of the public – he does not want it to be a part of the political game.”
Responding to Odeh's claims against him, MK Dichter said later on Monday, “I am proud of the opportunity to defend Israeli citizens, including Israeli Arabs and Odeh himself, from murderous terrorism led by the same people that Ayman Odeh is now defending. With those miserable comments, Odeh is turning himself into the representative of the Hamas leaders in the Israeli Knesset and is abandoning the security of the citizens of Israel – both Jews and Arabs.”
It should be noted that the bill that would allow for the expulsion of MKs was put together after three MKs from Odeh's party visited with families of terrorists who murdered Israelis and later defended their actions.