Israel was in an uproar after the words of police chief Kobi Shabtay, who in a telephone conversation with the Minister of Security Itamar Ben Gwir said that “murdering is in the nature of Arabs.” The conversation was leaked to the press most likely by Gwir. The Times of Israel portal wrote about her. Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Arab opposition party, the Joint List, called for Shabbatai’s dismissal because of his words, and stressed that the facts he cited were not true.
The police chief reportedly stated to Ben Gwir that killing is part of the “nature” and “mentality” of Arabs living in Israel. The conversation was leaked to the press most likely by Ben Gwir. Such words were to be said in a conversation about the creation of a national guard, which Minister Ben Gwir wants to establish, among others, due to the fight against record-high crime rates in Arab communities.
“One murder after another. This crossed all boundaries. We need a strong national guard,” Ben Gwira said in an interview published on Wednesday.
“Minister, nothing can be done. They kill each other. This is their nature. This is the mentality of the Arabs,” Shabbatai was supposed to reply.
Conversation published, bureau expresses outrage
Kobi Shabtaj’s office expressed outrage over the publication of the conversation. For this reason, relations between the two officials have cooled, the Times of Israel reported. Shabbatai was “shocked” that Minister Ben Gwir and his office “record personal conversations between the minister and the commissioner and are outraged that the statements were taken out of context from a conversation that concerned patterns of conduct in Arab society,” the portal wrote.
Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Arab opposition party, the Joint List, called for Shabbatai’s dismissal because of his words, and stressed that the facts he cited were not true.
“The number of Palestinians killed (as a result of crimes) in Israel is seven times higher than the number of Palestinians killed (under similar circumstances) in the West Bank, Gaza and JordanOdeh wrote on Twitter. “It’s not the nature of the Palestinians, it’s the nature of the racist establishment,” he added. “In any other country, a racist commissar like Shabbtai would be fired in an instant. Resign!” the opposition politician wrote.
Shabbat should apologize
Mansur Abbas, chairman of the less radical Ra’am party in the Knesset, said Shabbatai should apologize.
“I expect the police commissioner to retract his disgusting remarks about Arab society and apologize to the Arab public or resign,” Abbas said and summoned the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Yitzhak Herzog to strongly condemn Shabbatai’s racist statements, wrote the Times of Israel.
Main photo source: Atef Sadi/EPA/PAP