Arab-Jewish Segregation Comments Spark Furore in Israel

JFIF;CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80 C   %# , #&')*)-0-(0%()(C   ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( " }!1AQa"q2#BR$3br %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz w!1AQaq"2B #3Rbr $4%&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz ?)Ԃ+8R uR: S @(@)8RN)Ԕ(ShI ( (Qu RH QE(P)Ú@)ERP)N2HMqQ*e8vWo̶3=g TCy{2U#?|dL|iw<ꡧT* v57d={?l5iQ@,QfPppH@F:L1oL쯣$J>'II#m2 .)qJ&)qK\R1KpPqJ.)q@ \S7K3f)qN.(R(Zf)qO.(#Q*-}qQ9mΐ1 _#/ߩy|?uOֽ4sKP(RJ8 hSYaY֩786b = \[|KIu;+SALZ)Hщ\}i9$>Vt UkB1=C8:OߺyQWivܜ{Wk\r @9\MC:6޻cs*D{7^t>C~WL ~`$79Dr9 é&/xbB@s'-]Ox},iB͢_s:26 vS_eԙI \##|ssƴ,=B=v9$e<( P _<Ķ1K&9 W ni5xW#zv\my[JG۬BW(?uZw-@RvqBc9c4.9R+)XdӶQ~(3b1@ s@Ti1@+R(I1@IPEi!"4DE!&)PdSHH@M""i))SȤ"#"B(s;'C}}Z.wc9Z-mO16!\ɐ[g$~Jтq=E%s9氕y˨N!c&_MKd"1/})wͧpzs`p/8#83Ɓr9׭.X׮:g旡! 6ia7{{yPvbAc+Ěq&|QO?ʓSBx7fuyrϋd!N?ku }s[B%2ӑj ȂL`t8 QzJQS7FҭKdi98^xk=-'6?ZOa8HU}1ی`+)(Q7(#<3lQ!׾+ڼqog2mId`l`YH,YlEcPW<Ӄ^8g9fEe< AGvrH=??.7;;1%~nszH w S\bd9?/N3)pAɧsbCW 2~"e8=f[OpXJ,OC@@Gu`c)A'<҆*ퟘ0:  7G@܊pI520Yhۊ[n([LhFPcn7Z@uޫDNø(˞Z?z)8ґFj6lu >G d+~!kVx~M%{Goƹʩp1׌d➻cq֋ǾYVo0ūˣ6=qF+m 1 &xngJ;"uyOyϯg.SB@Fw)Ƞg߯OֹerY2;Tlg$y$)Ccb]a#ת3\Zi8_ʫyj ݪ^$AuyUbcUP`t?tǧ)ȅՀ SCm ߿zj!\0 qaH^;oM ;uV%udF(O=fNݼ/:% 0$=+y?c~U_?A.3Ht*n?JnܤHZ8%$)1q_c!qƓw9;q,CayPP1R$miOp0qNةr;B w ]ȶI$@n9LZvYfJmxtf(!s@?¢L܏ 'fSg qOΣ̑SޞGv;ԳǖB  r ?ֹd^`\W)K +&%'ᶥ]m7>#I ?ٯSO 9/grGH?[`Oh)@@ 2K@[̊C9n?Ҿzɺ`6HTm@~ȤsNA+½·>@T yJbN2 4G)"w u\Vr4F'ڢݢ1 0FH=098ⷵ;L:hpH}~'rdaw*\(Fs940t-Ԣib*I9:yw3o<jlR7qVc60Up]0@P|XS*;#*;t+OCG,1V1zJ]E<|QyȠdV];LeP}GlЄNGBXTyhK O'184F2wc6Oz?ɢ-˶06­`}p)D(t$GL歪I䪄߹yҒVpGEݵq1woXC"l L`~n%%wt9㍒@QqlLx:ѵ$(2FX'i?69SkcJbL,[@@8{k: f)0TzqhWy ʁcl~.]TOjm,)'#$y0R"*T)$ʂ8 :Y u ΃fo $[FC38=j#8 2y=2k%څw.[aU` 0%O99zJkBZ%|؄ SEvy P;X6fe( j^("N8ZwB*Źr?u֫@M+RI`Ei)(")TS SHHRM"HEHE4B*B)PdSHLȤàk]/$9bO\1 i.gy7qvdO^2]@ǯW {IaԐ2MSWsӲH!9A QA Irsp9RPG?J]p`jR3N 9Olul;FZcD# zHA=JKH8v ?EU =p=ena"r q<(ߟOZL T1qR8<ʚrc$zf``g1ːxiC#wQu] u ~I žs䋂ѶԮiNz h*pϵq#Ԓml^Oj[~⪨e3|׮sƗ<7|:ln ~4 n?7C9ҳ>1QI. riC|'TpU(.^l.(,e8=?N+ vV+ޮ"OPOxߋmZ7|:^Zx9+5MCuOK'oW_~:x |Y9[ܣc?0=GzʱJ.(AdqVpJ>}~N,{ :ڕEV<hh@$`p=9HFЄu^*f$'&Ԯ$w?>BU d+d3t=GZYJAH@cQ8ک7;;sy\8/^GIn!Tw9S߯4:9r"Q8.3QЯT*] neu}PX<\,>_,2:*0T%{?V@8_O֤W.1H ~YGzTʍ8`:5])ܤ 弿7/Tp~sE ;~rя 8y??:H QORzU~OSTJBGB9:*Fϵ9#U%,E`{گYې $O4\v.\l`[=knƸ.$7;WO#8jDUH@$9 }8J֖K"J2yʁs=+j_$V!n#'99T7g=vz&gb'~zUi$F9ޮxnH#}Q0m%v^O9UcmЌc;bݚeIP8z``H G%pry~ZXfH3;.@ g'޵,y/Tm9$z\R3^#``eO\{tH尜AZU"1 qd2D@IcװKMp1V؅Q&N;w!˺XVU*FFr{jiO>`LVc 9h}6`pɳS"r# B Ŭ7Hc<+rG*{® 6pwֹ O~G%6F%݋;Ԟ֥Tڸ vn0QRPPx8(V;Gq1Oƥˆc}:cyx8=z)`8j4b1qR1b=}t A#?5jVhPr?CW.Uz!=ۥr1qAZЗ,ǘy//d5}Wo-mʒWOU5:WԟM%ͩl=X~>;N\issWæ_T癎+<)[zV5]FѕeŦ@48m6a>\DWyp8iqYeдmy+~g/١vL~+:yc;ITtڝ緟 ,϶1\Mf g^.8 &_-r1ۮ)0>y/wh\[ݐU=6澑in*FNFk&%uq'qO\Y0s@NijW53鷲Fd0u^֭[pCDϾ Rb%X`uNjpќ88k[A*OD| @HAe'?>-Tʜm78Vvqךpޜ OCe*1ޕcmv$*~U'~Qq؉Q/F;CN;dzZv"# Æ#ƋTdnin0 ,A|GZ]4K< \gΤ!,K˕@Xu>˟@ /"G7Ӷ}{agJ,Y\I9v*cNǿ=Ұ*b))i)(i%yW#q@U@ 8=y zh9#HSUM sH?=zAnN i9BxnNz~s\ivmcN8?5P9۞4ՈPH dҥ38ßY_:r?,d#2@N Jw$d[;58#V +]N}dgG$p_NҒ,֗]-r?2 V")= S'/QXWbj6YA Ğ9ˌz}#x_B1W+^ fr~UMA!96mɪ^n\>??Ρ]Gu*g nzJ!]^5crv\)ԇڲa9 9^b/0#ޜr= =qVO _P?©G+aWҘש tʃ.ה]˃6I8sOKbPzu9?"Cmo*u) W-~@ pxqȯlOi1>r )(2O?42O\rR\M$+/z޼^ԡ@b}pj|7 ]R+9Sf\44 t?*9 f'v־!ҵX.9pqڭO?Phf99\ySҢDqM+H;op+\#n&2r?/aҬ]N;6" _\6@ϱ ƲL021~T\E2N>cǰOVb3a$ex:y6qZX~d|h BUSq9jABq?C>I$xH 0,jCv#Taa>m!@m A^ <*RɎϵhl#86si`qKߧZ zS }M-9\zu=A"p=(bw$ncJhp( $SP7OJlԊ 9_"Y#mءqGz~:pO_Hdvq): gҚ]Ǯs dc c#'A)0ѓ>MAI00ieJ{NӿjtK#4sqs[QYĤG5;GvR*O ӌ^HۭhCb;|c#5*8Uݴa~T4!"AAOdYB'7SczkUHai$%QT=2kEMFK;{"uڸ~G55%ȴ=\}!aRG!CZLQu-O /C>W@qn*mn}:_Ϋ 0Kt?N9p?OϗG5.<AOSWcq&- 9!~Siɸ1Q T,ۆ_z6rGӥ! 8=nTc oR:Ubr8mTs̠1y{=vWkHclt*!b rڌwq0q'S^S ~Dy<+`nٱ5kPH^Ww?dUVn?6~ߕdH6i52v}~z՞iԬ⳰gg*ͷn2:̛ZԵ˩ b[[%l3u85ݱQ}pǞUZ&i u43K oza4(cAj4P2LѸy%jD\c9ڃ(Qǯ5 =I`;K=VER+Z+>9nܴ@m,NI1Ng$*kNkۋ2\O#K#rO^Ox=GQv,;G]HϷN? ϹT0U4qǨϾ+jQÕ=?*uk𷄬B=I1sֺb*"4*B)4i0aRLa@mdjAf',吟mq׎-q䏛vEKܩXU㈃ OwRdN jƊ l?R89#Ìiɧ yX2niW֣d¤o) ) 6GuQ=9 ѷ'9QXsrꨃwaE;-{ǚh1:e?\*d-s˜ɖ$qP 9kϵ^X|5 QQħa !=#PvڭٰGJTIqP.3Sb`9ZfY#;T);<犁[>  |j6- ;qs?ƞCgGC& `՟k0ȾhLmP&gdLQōN 8pp?ڸCWLayritZ+ ``ߊACWXuieJ6+ԗW%؅?-WTYZ\u+;9"#Xܨlgֱ'Ԛ' j2M[05m˅TE<&i)3LKm\њJ(AM4:RLfihAN6bur%Ir9<c^hW.ZO&[%eQ>*`S_=nouL9k:|W+eFFyiYb* ( QKI@-%(`Xҿr5?xcP/Ycgsc z]kcjq}r~t_d"] s-yerǹ'&+}׊r,>a?a^_Q,z? ee=߅PqiȦRM"""EJE0aSM0"ja) n*FPM[ )R uS P)R P(TuݤE^̲qL@8pS8AsjvF2vsqc#…;3fH$NAMCǞQ{U =h|d''9QT&Z.+ YiLI+KqZnnؤRG^~!b>Pz p $zJ7{zC$7. ~÷]2Ш~s暯o `+r<<ukO*5Gf1H~UyԀY$VX189ey!w[5db~U V~A, =pA:ؙ$`<敊'ژc zTrTwWAQ 0q8ascޠYXBJO-̫ 8Iݚ]%͵<I;X扁 s^76~ wZ8dĮf.2)%QTHQEQERRb3N2ݹ"H08ZܮM^ /LpѴvU_X_O}'Pv2|˜sA|SEdw<0|EHdig} 007?|ϑ_U"$""EJE0di!(2)"EDE0aqRL0O)·2)š)h CSҀSH)¥FO*X@xsW.2:L G8\\3Xӊ,q(U y 07GQߖiX㑸u9irc;yy`Csgv}zvݫל Ҥ'^! qޝ sLg)%Gzbe*3<0ʃ85bq=)pNrz?$9 ?6i =p(APOR6zbqPr \恏ޔfN_'s}i87ONJC'u"qiןΜ8+g:s*a?Op;xN-scOq{f]USzx;XZMǒGOȊ Zj?> G#qڹJQ>Ю{> Fps*u >ThrvF9g8Y۞A9\%ܾT{=F5wW\^Lr7Ղg#\V1gF{W^gcZ~3:f#~@5WFS1ǐ35]g &h=)E!&j!:#H?֩sZp4pT\q^xzPsHCКp|twcE=R{>Ԕԙ= .jb:*D^j.KP$zRҪ'qӅ0S1✦p4(42yrmT)<*JD%tzÍcB=jZ-Su Tl_j;D{{Pq_R+eF9_Z>VT2=d2 bGB irQ@Q@%-ͣ~sM(I sW^3>,})pR??zv|CxzYpļ/IxqQ+ ̘ 0$gk~>s';bhH>C EB0"#L""€"aL""h")4@aM0FjV`F£5)NVCš)J()J(œ)R3:BeV dM2"nT8~5iCT9pΜ})"q皂y+Ta?Zq'? zqzq=<#H\gsF0,c/3Kd(>ӆs$cMSx/qJ@(ۂcx8K'hy4Œ{cpzJ3Ni8)7ati yN F>sHdsRH˃ךbqO9_Ƿipf'tc(`m`aX+4qu[Fcg\==.c5JDcϿ;1]H򧼫n ʨK׆_Hd[{U+OWR? 1^(<#^K0d;8>Mb]fVn>@NIry6qڢT## {̧Ow1y>s#Y3* <\\%>9Kxaf,I'Pfc~旄YC+ 2$v^򯸴t2Bb5W2]>HǑ>}j))BE0Ԧ€"5 0aXS Di51Ji@M5!΅8SE8VC8S@ CC8SE8P1œ4S&8SE8t2 j+.*z+pLªiM$(nrqϥ0zSbt))v4"6=0)\gsǵY gS!^0K!9:S`qw8Oc{414''q0y`)B1xJ1g#8NE҉[J d#p7wG;'[$DR{<~C9\_3;- {OME{oco(cs#sMԲ[rA1'kçs-ĭ4ŏIsĚg9edsOҹ=c]5`rvnڟ?d8^U`&b"A.PiY"nC6PTSa+/Lc=}ȦvS(r3~r=#B \~\gƣ`UA`W';i<2YZ}I/<_9m9aNډq/^^*I6_dd@30㹌 j5I< ZiT0Hٶ.pkHzLȧ5!Z~sҕҒx~BzS<֙-:Ai3(RHNqv>w4s7!GZPi杚pKH @w--XМS%( z9YOWBz9N0GcYjhܯ|U\ck{U[T2&gT]TM l-ɏc^{7Z×)u`v2soҿ>[k{8VSG, *"!WW= (PBhy< ucxP[KCp&qҰ'cxwÓZԆ{hpY'dxC☵/Zh֒KMǘ{~ׅ2Gw`RM_}|&g$^9xiu}$OO0~uH%m# wZf,y1&&6)*HHc a+ F3 DRQ0ԄSS 0f0NҜ+s1œ)(œ)(ppR8S4S(]A~n=ɭqTDZgQ^%AٙҕVM ڔ t#nos\:dvڟJv`=;9.'4c;?ZS.t[<6te\WTKcܵ?Zk'Ɨez*XBwvvb& 8 ''bUfb9Pz/_76Pna<aO5PF ]HliS 2TdT*&*SLjRPF5+S"#cTh2)RaڙRf(8SE8Vc8SE:)M@ xpcu AN@ )I[ȸAJ)006/}۽p^9pI#ܤ=k]jGҤg?$_ZfGYt~}q:+|I- #cbgҼm4ry4,.l5_YE {c~~뚖y{q1.v]+8FNA=iqyp*]piBqQepH =9Cd^C(+73+NGR=(۴2?jݫp,{$Pvn{P=1@ 94*=ڗ+&UfsI⁒Tչ$ ObMqՀcsVpgG9ƈMڣAN፹VU.rH£9H#m;~4X9N{T 1G<sW dx]?'P"7#EFAL^32qt$ ;N1Ne. P@ķNq?Ҥc!c'M!V2Viq1H~皫}%r?[ \uI}-wsמ\,dZʣN ^w:מ {I$2'qzenݱx[R)(()p›E]'҈;zS##

B0iĞW5Wvv\q0ǂΟls{)6yX|NMvR|S⹮#l@<x;5CKK,.- ښ1+Ob_GQĭOֽXo [15 vaRLj0TP-L5)FTQDZa@c #4R50fjCL4ž)+s1œ)(œ)(NN,c8SE8P(?KTueLBq/oʼtĭ/WzJB}Sn|ޤŒ hMXgڃMw=}SpzD0{R;F9@Ǵcie\"E%SsiZa].FxgR:“(6$ #_lm>c (7qf296 B!c jkT1oӊ&EO ϰmb&`'Ah IUFX08<Ԑ>@=(p0~/v`mɌ:i1`ǷN<g_h#I"ź!?TBIu''q9x9TF&>`7Zxg,Byű#0{g#^| "FrsD,ayO\VumNln/a*3ݏA߮*D) 9^> 4Kc  y<=klVܕl5W*vU XmQLAEPͶt>]bkaVA84-흇50 (:p(LjuW'Ӄ׊VRHv‘" 01HH(Gz<TbƇvi-Lԫ@ ekCHa8,:}jW=ht!խDq[fU5"`L\|>WJK+s' Wɟ|`|Q BvߞGaKS˒6G7&|"U.Mv{0[dM? / h>!5&k 5ko6Ze05rh4}4 SHE4DSXqOji j3S0FT4TmR4S4 a FhS)Ey h[ h 8S4S))¥p h p Z@UU=|鍤څm;"W|l-@I')*@2eLC@9P0T3fY%^*oRVLvg#^tL5|s#? QfÙxoV#c\JȕXMzWMP8XT3꣚xE ΍=L Eڤln{gJUDGT` hU,jMޛtu gO61,2b & Of?bn,H1Yɥ?0T(e>o@OS (i6u$Ve^[b4A>eaߊZwI9J( ( ( (ךe =j`~^*JjI]ې)UX1 hDS֚8p(OQQZzj*Td3V4e/1PGִ[>֌+w9v $l뚭PoNUV۵' _nm!𿃮^9u @$`=5͓ɯKAmO dv'o޸ w># ds(@;M8+"[Rق#7 }EgwHtK=26#_|w>MhbS[8E5L=(QF¢53TMր"=iR51&JPDSjQ#4)h̅8S+s!œ)(Ni@ x x`8S4S - yƭ,n 2J2zaASYU/,%K<Ďp LhhB7 I&v=rijַ2C2$NUt6rۀ$P2DڋC@SRB6!9 elO%9H &UG暳NƝx%yisdt Iҭxri^^ h]>}S? qIqTXb+?JߺĞphcdQ"e~8_f IEVp7dd /Zhx[?ާm^:8=)~ϹUBg;}?dưpxI'x +#Auw*M+f pǯkkLѵ Y =f@rxk~^"ɩ]@cdhdc׮plҳc!q(|W|txp9 ףFţ x+OŇĞ7 yt= g?V֖4{7ށp<0d+:|,QkW$?$`!K(7jxB\ |[#$vMr zHbDW^qJ"C~s~VRz$;x *8LUCsUi _mdqq|.->:S/?;IeHGBLOi¿޸@ s+tMҗncmm1?SֈWtEfOnߞ[(Av8p))`S5iL@L@ x pTb(AP\n*20!A8nmˆ/N? 9|>o BI.<,p#sC^l#PzM~\SNAZn0m޾ãxZmQHcV9!UBaGSɨ=j)M%2Ej:\Rfn*7:)zfJhBQEQEQEQEQE-})ZQցK-l,%k([Eݩ+R2iǥ4 F!Qktjm֘Lj3R5FS =#4O4@ 4N4NONN p h )()(OH*E89j1Of+ +6ނ__}E3~;:MxKXxRcPXa\}&4ώ$q.>NIȨ=i* Z)(ޞg*ǵe@%F5}()ҮY} 6(AEPEPEPў}i)ps@RO)9O$`Zj9PuȥQRU4!F*UczK8վi6K 81_l"FxO߳[$\ >63ܰH`C#4..nF"[ğuV,a IeE? r/>u]G_KXXil!h=IͷJ)u,RZi@XOZkROZFqL'kS 9R151Lc@FjFڀ1iƘM4M)x ṗpu)š)LғOOp h p h @8vO( m8tH:Ҋp m8Rœ)(ž)()) p5 H(NOONL@i<xSH =kȿjesԠa^+OW#ҧ> \[J8#2cKEA>"mo@J?P1%b2 z_ľ$Ԉmn8Q}ɯh#þe͜r.`yR/Σ4RNA4s@iM0i4cV4CңcNcQCQsS LcN&c@j3Nj50Қa4N4@ &iM4 pp }0S8S0S)š:SLHc8S$u\|miSE9hœ)R)(œ))ON"Ӆ1i x8P)(ANNpOſσ${h~K8J9MI<2CEPEPEPEPKIE9NXNXT8+n&;.|+ 6Fcq^ZkKo!'Kt }OZF$6b; _a[BA 5vgk a杹{kzMմ۱׃ҕ)¡ue uURMx֚Lx*('O c/p=aߕ8E&pQO8%gĺymJ0*BS|?$.3%V?6hlfkQ+ ؍N|̃)ɍk|OksΧy}"+\ѼGZMѺY`y^"^M#wO)n3=gpnx^mKOFG?!~54(3cEg+dqdZӿi"3H@yڏ @ǃ_ׯ?Zz\峇ױ9i-<v2KG]i!F[ Rʑ&]Qs@+<+~6c5}$͓ qCgj}{J@f٠,.pex:7YXEPþS_E/q)>noTծ;. d9yfrܚlp'sT<y,q]0~5II@C# S OxCTM'\-bCs|znFx%WԶԯՄI( ">tx):#ϳ@Oӯ-u[.aq,1@L&iL&M0L4h 0ӉiqiSM4Li50ڙL>M[M@Ӆ0S!L@LR8x uxXN5}b}zvϷ4𗈬<[]gK$G/,Lr>0kPM8M4 uәnglGeQJ(iN1R$t`V>((()QE(Ѵ9_n* z("QHaEPEPEPEPEPEPܙQ@NE2[SE"f2zQE ÊZ(h9i' Warning: fopen(https://newsweekme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-03-30T194056Z_802868690_GF10000366182_RTRMADP_3_ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-780x439.jpg): failed to open stream: HTTP wrapper does not support writeable connections in /home/newsweekme/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-image-editor.php on line 428

A far-right Israeli politician has been admonished by his party and roundly condemned by commentators after suggesting Jewish and Arab women should be separated in maternity wards in apartheid-style segregation. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

By Luke Baker

JERUSALEM, April 6 – A far-right Israeli politician has been admonished by his party and roundly condemned by commentators after suggesting Jewish and Arab women should be separated in maternity wards in apartheid-style segregation.

Betzalel Smotrich, a 36-year-old member of parliament from the Jewish Home party, which is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, is an ultra-nationalist settler who is frequently outspoken on issues of religion and the Palestinians.

However, his comments on Monday went further than in the past, putting him at the fringe of the fringe and drawing censure from a wide spectrum of commentators as well as the head of his own party. He also received messages of support.

“My wife really isn’t a racist, but after giving birth she wants to rest and doesn’t want those mass parties that are the norm among the families of Arab women after birth,” Smotrich said on Twitter, joining a debate about hospital practices.

“It’s natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie next to someone whose baby son might want to murder my son,” he added.

Israel is in the midst of a fevered discussion over religion and identity that ultimately boils down to whether it can remain Jewish and democratic in the long-run.

At the same time, the failure of decades of effort to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and a months-long campaign of violence targeting Jews has provoked anger and frustration on both sides, with more incendiary, racist language.

A survey by the Pew Research Center last month underlined the growing divisions, both among Jews and between Jews and Israel’s 20 percent Arab population. Nearly half of the Israeli Jews surveyed said they were in favour of expelling Arabs from Israel.

Smotrich has in the past referred to the need to separate from the Palestinians, a view shared by those in the ultra-nationalist-religious camp represented by Jewish Home.

But the party leader, Naftali Bennett, said Smotrich had gone too far, overstepping the boundaries in a country that sees itself as pluralistic and democratic, even if Jews and Arabs live very separate lives and Arabs complain of discrimination.

“The national camp is not hatred of Arabs,” Bennett said at a party conference, going on to quote from the Talmud, rabbinical writings that interpret the bible, about how all human beings – Jews and Arabs – are created equal.

“Everyone has a unique soul, a family, a desire to live in dignity,” he said. “We are opposed to divisive discourse among the people and hatred of the other.”

“BLATANT RACISM”

While Bennett’s words were largely emollient, perhaps in an effort to hold together his party, which has eight members in the Knesset but with different ideological streams, commentators of the left and the right were far less restrained.

Ben Caspit, writing in the popular Ma’ariv paper, said Smotrich and his supporters were akin to “Judeo-Nazis”.

“No, Smotrich is not a Nazi, but he is a Jew who has come as close as possible to this questionable title,” he wrote.

“A hair’s breadth away. He does not demand to set up concentration camps and to build gas chambers, but he does have a racist ideology.”

Politicians from the right, the centre-right and the left offered similar condemnations, although Netanyahu stayed silent. Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli parliament and a gynaecologist, expressed his outrage.

“It is a blatant racist comment… and many Israelis are angry at Smotrich for holding the mirror of racism in front of them,” he told the Israeli news site Ynet.

“As a doctor, if Smotrich or his wife needed medical help from me, I would give it without hesitation. I have treated many racists in the past.”

On social media, Smotrich received support from those in the ultra-nationalist-religious camp who share his views. But his wife, Revital, gave him the clearest backing.

“It isn’t pleasant for me to lie next to Arab women,” she told Israel’s Channel 10 television, referring to her experiences giving birth in hospital. Asked if she would have a problem if an Arab doctor delivered her baby, she replied:

“The moment of birth is a sacred moment, a pure moment. It’s a moment that is very Jewish. I’d be very pleased if Jewish hands were to touch my baby the moment it enters the world.”

Social Streams

Comments

comments

Facebook Comments

Post a comment