Netanyahu attacks Arab MKs: 'There is a limit'

'There is something called national honor,' PM charges at Arab MKs as controversy continues over their meeting with terrorists' families.

Hezki Baruch ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Emil Salman/Haaretz/Flash 90

The Knesset rejected on Monday evening several no-confidence motions submitted by opposition parties the Zionist Union, Yesh Atid and the Joint List. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu easily dismissed the criticism of his government, instead turning the attack on three Arab MKs who met last week with the families of terrorist murderers. 

"I heard the attacks against me in several faction meeting today, and I want to clarify: We support the integration of Arab citizens of Israel into society, the economy and the state," he declared from the Knesset plenum. 

"We are investing efforts and many resources," Netanyahu continued. "But at the same time, because of this vision, we are not prepared to accept a situation in which MKs will support the families of those who murder Israeli civilians." 

"There is a limit," he added forcefully. "There is a thing called national pride." 

"I am trying to imagine what would happen in the British parliament if MPs would stand in silence for a minute in memory of 'Jihadi John' or if members of the US Congress would stand in memory of the California murderers," Netanyahu stated. "They would not accept it and we will not accept it. We will act against it."

MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List), one of the three Arab MKs who met with the terrorists' families, was removed from the plenum after screaming that Netanyahu was a "fascist."

Opposition chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) then took the platform, arguing against the coalition-backed law, advocated by Netanyahu, which would allow the Knesset to suspend an MK due to improper conduct.

"I and many MKs profoundly dislike and disapprove of what the Balad MKs did," Herzog asserted, "but how is that connected to violating the Knesset code of conduct, to the point that one day any MK from the Left or Right will be thrown out of here for 'misconduct.'"

"Those of us in the Knesset are obligated to fundamentally protect the fair rules of the game and its mantle because the Knesset already has tools to handle this phenomenon."