Calls to ban Arab MK who said Israel is 'fascist'

Grassroots group calls on chairman of Ethics Committee to sanction MK Basel Ghattas, who said Zionism should be outlawed.

Shimon Cohen ,

Basel Ghattas
Basel Ghattas
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The Zionist Guards of Democracy group, part of the Im Tirtzu grassroots student group, on Sunday sent a letter to the chairman of the Knesset Ethics Committee, MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), asking him to distance MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) from the Knesset, after he called for Zionism to be outlawed and claimed that "Israel is a fascist state".

Ghattas made the remarks in response to the decision of the Cabinet to outlaw the radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement.

The comments were made in a post on Ghattas’ Facebook page, where he wrote, "The decision is a fascist one whose sole purpose is to serve the despicable and satanic narrative of [Prime Minister] Netanyahu that Israel is dealing with radical Islam, in order to continue to perpetuate the occupation. The Islamic Movement is a central political component in Arab society, and outlawing it marks the start of the rejection of the legitimacy of the Palestinians in Israel, as long as they fight Zionism."

"It is Zionism and the insane rulers of Israel who should be outlawed, and this will happen only if the boycott of Israel and its policies continues," added Ghattas. “If in the past we called for a boycott of Israel because it is an occupying power, now we can add another argument: Israel a fascist state."

In the group’s letter to MK Vaknin, they wrote, "We view as very serious the statement by a member of the Knesset who pledged allegiance to the State of Israel under Article 15 of the Knesset Basic Law. It is inconceivable that a Knesset member acts to boycott the country he serves and it is inconceivable that he calls for Zionism to be outlawed in Israel, where Zionism is the lifeblood. For these reasons, we call on the Chairman of the Ethics Committee MK Yitzhak Vaknin to distance MK Basel Ghattas from Knesset debates and forbid him to submit proposals for the agenda and bills over as long a period of time as possible in accordance with the powers of the Ethics Committee."

The remarks on Zionism are certainly not the first time that MK Ghattas has taken actions against the State of Israel, of which he is an elected parliamentarian.

Just last month, Ghattas ascended the Temple Mount despite a blanket ban for all MKs, angering MKs from both the right and the left who called on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to remove him from the Knesset.

He previously took part in an anti-Israel “freedom flotilla”, meant to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.