Tuesday’s scheduled protest in the Arab sector are “evidence that the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee is a ‘fifth column whose only purpose is to destabilize the fact of Israel’s existence,” a prominent Likud MK said Tuesday, while others called for police to investigate Arab MKs participation in a demonstration that turned violent outside the US embassy Monday.
MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beteinu) called on police to investigate allegations that Arab MKs had employed and/or incited violence outside the embassy compound during the ceremonial opening, while Likud MK Amir Ohana said the Arab community’s protest over rioting on the Gaza-Israel border Monday that left more than 50 Palestinians dead and more than 1,000 wounded should be directed at Hamas, not at Israel.
“The (Higher Arab Monitoring Committee’s) automatic identification with (and support for) terror organizations” should be a matter of concern for all fair-minded people. The address for the Committee’s protest “following the events in Gaza” should be focused in one direction only: Hamas. If the Committee was really concerned about human lives, they would protest the sending of women and children towards the security fence in order to get the terrible images that they wave in front of the whole world,” Ohana said.
Ohana added a call to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to declare the Monitoring Committee an illegal organization, noting that Liberman once asked former Defense Minister Ehud Barak to make that move.
“The time has come for us to know if your word is really your word,” Ohana told LIberman.
Ohana’s call to ban the controversial Committee comes as Israel both girds for more Palestinian violence and prepares for more diplomatic successes in the capital.
Despite the Arab protest and general strike, Jerusalem officials are preparing for the opening of another embassy, for the Central American country of Guatemala, on Wednesday, and for a third country, Paraguay, to follow suit by the end of the month.
In addition, the Czech Republic will open an honorary consulate in the city by the end of May as part of a three-stage process to move the country’s embassy, and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel Broadcast Corporation (Kan) Monday that talks are under way with Romania to follow suit. Czech media also reported that Prague, Hungary and Romania moved to block the release of statement by the European Union criticizing the US embassy relocation.
Also, a former Australian prime minister called for Canberra to follow the United States’ example and relocate the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“The US embassy is now in West Jerusalem, which has been Israel’s capital for nearly 70 years. Australia should consider following Trump’s move,” Tweeted Tony Abbott, who served as prime minister of Australia from 2013 to 2015 for the Liberal Party and continues to serve as a member of parliament.
Notably, current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a member of Abbott’s Liberal Party, distanced himself from the call.
By: Andrew Friedman