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Statement from New Israel Fund Re: Lieberman Attack on Arab MKs

5 May 2005

Washington , DC .  The New Israel Fund, which is committed to promoting human rights in Israel, today issued the following statement regarding Israeli MK Avigdor Lieberman’s call for “trial” and “execution” of Arab MKs:

“Avigdor Lieberman and his party have firmly consigned themselves to the racist camp with their platform for ‘transfer’ of Israeli Arabs to the Palestinian Authority. Now, as Mr. Lieberman calls for the execution or trial of Arab Members of Knesset for treason, he is guilty of inflammatory rhetoric and racist incitement in a nation that must remain democratic and open to the views of all its citizens.  Israeli Arabs, who are guaranteed the right of equal citizenship under Israel’s Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws, cannot be subjected to further marginalization and discrimination, especially from a high-ranking Knesset member.”

“Demonizing Israeli Arab political leaders as enemies of the state is counterproductive to Israel ‘s interest and to the cause of democracy in the Middle East .  The Knesset should consider formal censure of Mr. Lieberman; and Israelis who cherish their democracy should condemn his remarks as beyond the pale of political discourse.”

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THE NEW ISRAEL FUND – The New Israel Fund advances civil rights and social justice for all Israelis, and believes the only secure Israel is a just Israel. A partnership of Israelis, North Americans and Europeans, NIF is transforming the social justice and human rights communities in Israel with grants and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofits. And through litigation, lobbying, and community empowerment, NIF grantees have emerged as the core of progressive Israeli civil society.

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