MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) reacted furiously to the 'Jewish Union' party which is competing in the municipal elections in Nazareth Illit.
The election slogan of the list, which includes religious and haredi Jews, includes the words "Nazareth Illit Yehudit,' or 'Jewish Nazareth Illit.'
"Those whose connection with the country is maintained by expulsion, violence, and hatred of the indigenous people are trying to compensate for this illegitimacy through all kinds of ideologies," Zoabi said in an interview with the local weekly Index in Nazareth Illit: "Racism and the negation of our natural connection to the homeland is not a solution to the illegitimacy of the concept of a "Jewish state" or a "Jewish city.""
Menachem Gandel, chairman of the "Jewish Union" list, said in response: "It is important to remind MK Zoabi that the Creator of the world gave the entire Land of Israel to the people of Israel. Nazareth Illit itself, as is well known, was established by the then prime minister, David Ben Gurion, on behalf of the entire Israeli government, to keep the Galilee Jewish."
"Those who participated in the flotilla from the Mavi Marmara and its subversive activities are known to all, and they should not preach to us about racism. The list of the Jewish Union under my leadership will continue to work to bring Jewish families from all over the country and the world to Upper Nazareth and will maintain a Jewish city with equal consideration for all law-abiding residents. "
Knesset Member Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) responded to MK Zoabi's statement that "Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city. We are not ashamed of this and we do not apologize for it. Nazareth Illit was founded and built by the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, as a Hebrew city - the capital of the Galilee, for the mission of Judaizing the Galilee, as part of the process of the return of Zion and the return of the Jewish people to our land."
"For the Arabs who live here, we said and say: 'Ahlan wa Sahlan' (Arabic for hello or welcome). 'Israel is the state of the Jewish people, where the rights of the minorities are preserved with dignity and more than any other democracy. Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and this Jewish union is the party that will work to strengthen Upper Nazareth as a Jewish city, " Yogev added.