Israeli Deputy Minister Yaron Mazuz, who is also a member of Knesset for PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, threatened the Arab members of Knesset on Wednesday during a discussion about a bill which would allow Palestinians married to Israelis to take Israeli citizenship.
"Terrorists can’t sit here," he told referring to the Arab MPs, during a discussion about a bill prepared by the United Arab List’s Ayda Tuma Suleiman and the left-wing Meretz Party’s Zehava Gal-On.
“We are doing you a favor by letting you to [sic] sit here. Each of you must give back their Israeli ID cards,” he said.
Addressing MK Hanin Zoabi, Joint Lists’ outspoken who had taken part in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, he said: “You are the first who ought to return your ID.”
The Joint List is an alliance of four predominantly-Arab parties.
Arab members of the United Arab List and Jewish members of the Mertz Party walked towards the podium waving their identity cards.
Suleiman, an Arab MP, said: “My father was born in these lands before Israel was established. Nobody is doing me a favor by giving an ID card.’’
After the discussion, the Knesset did not approve the bill.
The Joint Arab List took 13 seats on March 17 general elections and became the third-largest faction in the parliament.
Around 2 million of Israel’s 8.5 million population consists of Arabs that remained in the country after Israel was established in 1948.