Odeh wants Netanyahu investigated for 'incitement'

Joint List head says the party will ask that the Prime Minister be investigated for incitement after saying recent fires were Arab arson.

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Elad Benari,

Ayman Odeh
Ayman Odeh
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab Joint List party, on Monday announced that the party would ask Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to investigate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for incitement, over Netanyahu’s remarks that the recent fires in Israel were caused by Arab arson.

"The Arab public continues to deal with the continued incitement of the Prime Minister and the other ministers during the fires,” Odeh said at the start of the Joint List’s meeting, according to the Kol Hazman news website.

“Everyone understands that there is no one being interrogated and there is no terrorism. If they find one person who set the fires, the position of all of us is that those who damage our nature must be prosecuted,” he continued.

Odeh further claimed that the police arrested Arabs "left and right" but on the other hand received no Jews who called to kill Arabs had been arrested.

He then declared that the Joint List will ask the Attorney General to investigate Netanyahu, claiming the Prime Minister has incited against Arabs "ever since he said that we wave ISIS flags. We also refer to the ‘Muezzin Law’ which comes to persecute the Arab sector. There is already a law related to noise, and there is no reason for another one.”

It should be noted that professionals have determined that as many as half of the fires that ravaged Israel last week were caused by arson, as Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan recently pointed out in the Knesset.

Israel’s tax authorities last week recognized nine localities in Israel as places which suffered from hostile acts or from war damage due to the intentional arson attacks.

Odeh previously expressed outrage at the suggestion that Arab arsonists were responsible for the fires in Haifa, which forced 85,000 residents to evacuate from their homes.

Comparing the claim to medieval blood libels against Jews, Odeh dismissed the idea as fiction.

“This reminds me of the anti-Semitism in Europe, like when they would blame Jews, saying they poisoned wells,” he said.

Odeh is one of several Arab MKs to have caused outrage over anti-Israel statements and actions in recent months.

Last month, the Joint List chairman eulogized former Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasser Arafat and slammed the existence of the State of Israel in whose parliament he serves, calling it the “occupation of the lands of 1948.”

Odeh also rejected the label “Israeli Arab,” claiming that Jews had invented the term in an effort to erase “Palestinian Arab” identity.

In October, he announced he would not attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, but then chose to visit archterrorist Marwan Barghouti in prison

This past April, speaking at the Palestine House in Toronto, Odeh praised Barghouti as “a great fighter and a model of endurance and patience. Despite long years of captivity, he is lofty and has optimism, a capability of conducting analysis, and a clear political vision which liberals lack.”.