Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) sharply criticized MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) on Friday morning, after Ilatov – the newest member of the Knesset's Judicial Selection Committee – stated that anyone who does not sing "Hatikvah," Israel's national anthem, cannot be a judge in Israel.
Ya'alon maintained that preventing anti-Israel judges from sitting on the bench is a "bankruptcy of moral values."
"Anyone who demands that non-Jews sing 'Hatikvah,' as a precondition for integration into society, incites malice against an entire population and seriously undermines the quality of life in Israel," Ya'alon tweeted. "We do not require soldiers and officers who are minorities who risk their lives for their country to sing 'Hatikvah,' but only to honor the national anthem at attention and salute."
"Such crazy ideas which emerge in the context of the appointment of judges, including those from minorities or anyone else in society, are a mark of shame on the foreheads of their initiators."
Ilatov introduced the initiative in light of a 2012 incident that caused public outrage.
At the time, when High Court President Asher Grunis was sworn in, all those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony stood up and sang Hatikvah together.
Arab-Israeli judge Salim Joubran, however, chose not to participate in the singing, saying the matter is a “very sensitive” one for him. He later elaborated that he believes Israel is a "very racist" society.