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Netanyahu wants an emergency government of Jews only

Although the coronavirus doesn’t distinguish between Jews and Arabs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been doing so while calling on Blue and White leaders to join him in an "emergency government."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a speech at his Jerusalem office, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the coronavirus, March 14, 2020. Gali Tibbon/Pool via REUTERS - RC2XJF9GHE1C

Citing the current coronavirus outbreak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked on March 12, “An emergency government was established 53 years ago in Israel. I call for the establishment of a similar government now. This evening.” He then called on Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz to join him in the endeavor. Gantz tweeted in response, “Given the situation, we are prepared to discuss the creation of a broad national emergency government, which would include representatives of all parties in the House.” In other words, the government he envisioned should include the Arab Joint List. Netanyahu later clarified his position, asserting, “Supporters of terrorism cannot be part of the government, whether under routine circumstances or in times of emergency.”

In short, Netanyahu is adopting the same tack he took after the September elections. As I explained March 10 in Al-Monitor, he continues to paint the Joint List, which won 15 Knesset seats in this month's election, as ineligible to participate in the political arena. Netanyahu makes a point of calling Arab Knesset members “supporters of terrorism,” to try to prevent them from gaining legitimacy and become an integral part of Israeli politics, which is best characterized as Jewish.

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