Radical Arab MK Ahmed Tibi of the Joint List party on Wednesday asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to block Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's impending visit to Israel, in a call later echoed by Arab MK Issawi Frej (Meretz).
Tibi termed Trump a "neo-Nazi" over his controversial plan to ban Muslim entry to the US, and went on to say that "what Trump said isn't foreign to several people in the Knesset."
Trump has announced his plans to visit Israel sometime this month, while announcing his intentions to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to hold more peace talks as a top priority if elected. He accused Israel of not making enough sacrifices, and refused to rule out dividing Jerusalem.
Arab MK Frej contacted Interior Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) later on Wednesday, asking him to bar Trump's entry.
"As an Israeli citizen, I ask that the state address the racism against me, just like it addresses racism against Jews. Just as it is clear Israel wouldn't allow a hater of the Jews to use it in order to advance his political wares, the same must be in the case of Trump," said Frej.
"Trump is not just a racist, he is a man who poses a threat to the free world. A man who through racist incitement tries to gain the post of US president. A man whose presence in the public sphere is based on racism. The state of Israel cannot let Trump enter, particularly given his intentions to use his visit for political propaganda. This is a man who incites against a public that represents 20% of the population of the state of Israel, a man who asks to incite flames and hatred in every place he visits."
"Trump isn't the answer"
Mark Tzal, chair of the Republican party in Israel, told Army Radio on Wednesday morning that Trump is not suitable for the presidency.
"He is a demagogue, and we as Jews and as Israelis know what demagogues are in history," said Tzal. "What he's doing now is irresponsible, it's against all the values of the United States."
"The Republican party has a long list of candidates for president. Donald Trump isn't the answer."
Trump just last week put himself in hot water after voicing crass Jewish stereotypes at the Jewish Republican Coalition's Presidential Forum in Washington DC.
He was condemned by a number of Jewish groups after telling Republican Jews: "you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your own politicians."
Trump's comments about banning Muslim entry led the White House to "disqualify" him on Tuesday, in a sharp rebuke that included pot shots at the Republican party.