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Landau: Arabs in Israel Already Have Equal Rights

Minister Uzi Landau speaks about Israel's Arab population which refers to Israel as an apartheid state but praises the despots of Syria and Libya.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/31/2011, 4:55 AM / Last Update: 3/31/2011, 5:44 AM

Yoni Kempinski

National Infrastructure Minister Dr. Uzi Landau said on Wednesday that he expects the attorney general to investigate the events that took place in Lod on Tuesday and examine whether the law was violated there.

Landau, who was interviewed on Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website, was referring to the rally by Israeli Arabs which took place in Lod and in which the demonstrators burned Israeli flags and posters of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The protests took place to mark the Arab “Land Day”, which marks the anniversary of the massive Arab riots in March 1976 over the confiscation of land near Arab villages, during which six protesters were killed.

In the interview, Landau referred to the leaders of the Arab public as “an anti-Semitic group that seeks to undermine our right to exist here.” He brought as evidence for this statement the constitution proposed by the Arab leaders, which asserts in its first lines that the proposed law is the Muslim Sharia law.

He said that he is disappointed in the conduct of the government and believes that the time has come that the government talk less and do more, both against the Arab incitement as well as in dealing with infiltrators from Egypt.

Landau attacked the Arab leadership in Israel, calling them a “itinerant band” which accuses Israel of being an apartheid state yet travels to Libya and Syria and praises the leaders there.

He also addressed the claims made by the Arab public against Israel and said: “They accuse us of expropriation of land while at the same time they rob lands. They accuse us of the fact that their youths have nowhere in which to develop, but we see that as our housing prices go higher and we are building higher structures they insist on building one family homes on plots of land. They accuse us of apartheid and yet go to praise the leaders of Syria and Libya.”

Landau added that he thinks it is time for the Arab leaders to open their eyes and admit that equal rights are given to the entire population in Israel, including the Arabs.

Landau also addressed the Nakba Law which was approved in the Knesset last week, and which stipulates that the Minister of Finance may withhold or reduce budgets from government-funded bodies who deny Israel’s existence. The law came under fire by Arab MKs who termed it “anti-democratic.”

Another person who expressed his opposition to the Nakba Law is Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Kremnitzer published an article in which he wrote that the Nakba Law prevents freedom of expression and encourages collective punishment.

Landau addressed Kremnizter’s statements and said that “one must be a professor to say such nonsense. No one is preventing freedom of expression but it is important to remember what the Nakba is. Nakba is them marking what they see as a disaster that they failed to kill us with axes as they did in Itamar. They want to refer to this so they can implement it in the future. Their aim is the destruction of Israel, and they want us to sponsor them using the budget of the State of Israel?”

Landau also noted the German law against Holocaust denial and similar laws that prohibit Neo-Nazi expressions in countries like Britain and Russia, and added that in those countries one would never even suggest that such organizations receive government funding.