The meeting has ended between President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who came to the President's House for an update meeting together with the Likud coalition negotiation team. The President was updated by his guests on the political situation and again emphasized that he is of the opinion that the State of Israel needs as broad a unity government as possible.
In addition, the President expressed his strong objection to recent statements against Arab Knesset Members.
The President is of the opinion that calls by Arab Knesset Members from time to time regarding Israeli society, and particularly about IDF soldiers, are "grave, shocking, and unacceptable", and that he says this to them directly and publicly.
At the same time, the President denied that all Arab elected officials are a threat to the existence of the State of Israel and are a fifth column. The President then claimed that we who "live as sovereigns in our country", the "Jewish and democratic" State of Israel, must ensure equality of rights and respectful and meaningful discourse with all Israelis.
The President added that excluding entire sectors of the population has become an issue that touches every part of society and that we "must pay close attention to remarks by Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni on the long-standing partnership with Arab members of Knesset": “The remarks made about the Arab and haredi populations and about their representatives in the Knesset undermine the legitimacy of these parts of Israeli society, deepening already existing divisions. I ask everyone who cares about the State of Israel to stop these ugly statements once and for all,” said the President. “We must not get to the point where the results of the elections lead to a situation where wonderful parts of the society, integral parts of this country, feel again and again that their legitimacy is being violated.”
Other examples have included Arab MKs openly defying an order from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to visit the Temple Mount, while also urging Arabs to prevent Jews from visiting the site.
One video clip sent to Arutz Sheva showed MK Ahmed Tibi actually striking an Israel Police officer on the Mount - a criminal offense - while another MK, Jamal Zahalka, orders police to leave the site.
MK Hanin Zoabi has in the past said she views sovereign Israeli territory as occupied "Palestinian" territory. Last year, during a discussion in the Knesset on the reconciliation agreement with Turkey, she openly called IDF soldiers “murderers”.