MK Smotrich
MK SmotrichMiriam Alster/Flash 90

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) blasted the Interior Ministry on Thursday for buckling to pressure from Arab cadets who refused to participate in a scheduled tour of Judea and Samaria during their training course. 

Writing to Interior Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud), Smotrich called to oust the six cadets from the public leadership positions they received within the ministry after finishing the course. 

Noting the full university funding the cadets receive from the Israeli government, Smotrich stressed the importance of "special seminars...where they meet with a variety of populations in Israel." 

"They meet with residents of Samaria, residents of the north, the south, and representatives from the Arab sector in Israel, among them anti-establishment officials, in order to learn about the composition of the Israeli population," he said. 

"Several weeks ago," Smotrich informed Shalom, "several Arab cadets refused to participate in a seminar held in Judea and Samaria, claiming they did not want to tour in the 'occupied territories.'"

"Following this scandalous conduct, it was decided to suspend them from the course. But after pressure from MK Ayman Odeh, the cadets were returned to the course."

Smotrich then quoted the Interior Ministry, which said that after "consulting with public officials and out of a desire not to hurt the program," it had acceded to the Arab cadets' demands. 

According to Smotrich, "the scandalous conduct of the cadets," and the forgiveness they received in being allowed to return to the course, is an example of "the boycotts against Israel, and the attempt to blacken the face of legal communities in Judea-Samaria."

"One can assume that similar behavior on the part of settler cadets who refuse to participate in a seminar of regional Arab councils would encounter a harsh and unforgiving response," Smotrich added angrily.

Concluding the letter, Smotrich urged Shalom to cancel the Interior Ministry's decision and "suspend the cadets who boycotted the seminar held at Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria."