As Israelis go to the polls today, the country’s leaders are stepping up their racist incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel who are eligible to vote.
“The right-wing government is in danger. Arabs are advancing on the ballot boxes in droves,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message posted on his Facebook page (see above).
“Left-wing organizations are busing them out,” he warned.
“We have no V15,” he said, in reference to an organization he alleges is working against him with foreign funding, “We have Order Number Eight.”
This is the order that calls Israeli citizens up for army duty, thus Netanyahu is explicitly likening his Jewish get-out-the-vote effort to sectarian warfare against Palestinians.
Not to be outdone, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, posted on Facebook and Twitter: “Even Netanyahu knows that if the Arabs are going to the polls in droves, only a strong Lieberman can stop them.”
Lieberman recently called for the beheading of Palestinian citizens of Israel he accuses of disloyalty to Israel.
Israeli Jewish party leaders are worried about a strong turnout among the 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. In an unprecedented move, four predominantly Arab parties have formed a joint list – a step that could make them the third largest group in Israel’s parliament.
Hadash, a left-wing party that is a member of the Joint List, poked fun at Netanyahu.
In a tweet compiling selfies of Israelis casting votes for the Joint List, Hadash wrote: “You think masses of Arabs voting for the Joint List is a danger? Well, here’s the new democratic threat – Jews voting for the Joint List!”
Under Israel’s system of proportional representation, the entire territory is treated as one electoral district. This includes the occupied West Bank, where some three million Palestinians and more than 600,000 Israeli Jewish settlers live.
All are ruled by the same Israeli government. But in the West Bank, only the Jewish settlers get to vote.