Religious Zionist party leader vows to expel Muslims who do not recognise Israel as land of Jews

Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich (Jack Guez - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  April 8, 2021

Leader of the far-right Religious Zionist party MK Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday threatened to expel a Palestinian MK and other Muslims who do not accept the rule of Jews in Israel.

Earlier in the day, MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List gave an interview with Radio 103FM, during which he was asked his opinion on remarks made by Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu, who in 2019 stated: “The land [of Israel] vomits out the Arabs”.

Tibi called Eliyahu “racist garbage”, adding: “I despise him. A rabbi is not supposed to talk like that, and if a sheikh talks like that about Jews, then he should also be condemned.”

Smotrich jumped to defend Eliyahu on Twitter, stating: “A true Muslim needs to know that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and over time Arabs like you who don’t recognise that, will not remain here. Rabbi Shmuel and his multitude of followers, us among them, will make sure of that.”

Tibi responded: “It makes me happy that you won’t be a minister without relying on Arabs,” adding in German: “Du bist ein Rassist (You are a racist)”.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc seeks to mobilise the support of the United Arab List [Ra’am] ’to reach a majority of 61 seats to be able to form a government coalition.