MK Robert Ilatov
MK Robert IlatovFlash 90

MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) responded on Friday to comments made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon condemning Ilatov’s plan not to allow anyone who does not sing "Hatikvah," Israel's national anthem, to be appointed as a judge in Israel.

Ya'alon maintained that going through with the idea presented by Ilatov, the newest member of the Knesset's Judicial Selection Committee, would be a "bankruptcy of moral values."

"Anyone who demands that non-Jews sing 'Hatikvah,' as a precondition for integration into society, incites malice against an entire population and seriously undermines the quality of life in Israel," Ya'alon tweeted. "We do not require soldiers and officers who are minorities who risk their lives for their country to sing 'Hatikvah,' but only to honor the national anthem at attention and salute."

"Such crazy ideas which emerge in the context of the appointment of judges, including those from minorities or anyone else in society, are a mark of shame on the foreheads of their initiators," he said.

Responding on Friday afternoon to Ya’alon, Ilatov said the Defense Minister was “speaking nonsense” and accused him of being a “post-Zionist”.

“Bogie Ya'alon, who is known as a person who periodically speaks nonsense, usually depending on his audience, and immediately apologizes afterwards, is the last person who can say anything to anyone, especially when the things I said are correct and are relating to the fact that it is expected of a judge in Israel to identify with the anthem of the country under whose authority and in accordance with whose laws he is a judge,” said Ilatov.

“Ya'alon probably does not understand the meaning of a Jewish and democratic state,” charged the MK. “It is surprising that, despite his words about the need for equal rights, Ya'alon did not stand together with Yisrael Beytenu in demanding equal military service for all populations, including Israeli Arabs, or an alternative service for the benefit of the country.”

“Ya'alon's stance reveals once again that he is not part of the nationalist camp but maybe a part of the post-Zionist camp. The national anthem is one of the symbols of the state and, in accordance with his stance, Bogie may also agree to cancel the symbol of the menorah or move the flags that are behind the judges in court, because these are Israeli and Jewish symbols,” said Ilatov.

Ilatov introduced the initiative in light of a 2012 incident that caused public outrage.

At the time, when High Court President Asher Grunis was sworn in, all those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony stood up and sang Hatikvah together.

Arab-Israeli judge Salim Joubran, however, chose not to participate in the singing, saying the matter is a “very sensitive” one for him. He later elaborated that he believes Israel is a "very racist" society.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)