Israeli FM ‘Enraged’ at EU for Noting Discrimination in Israel
Ministry Spokesman Condemns EU for Investigating 'Behind Our Backs'
by Jason Ditz, December 27, 2011
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is “enraged” today, according to reports, after the existence of a confidential European Union memo was revealed which noted that Arabs inside Israel face discrimination.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman issued a statement on Lieberman’s behalf condemning the EU and complaining that the memo was written “behind our backs” and without having asked the Israeli government for permission first.
The document focused on a number of measures being pushed in Israel’s parliament limiting criticism of the government and efforts, which are being pushed by Lieberman’s party, to strip Arabs of citizenship if they do not swear a loyalty oath to Israel as a “Jewish” state.
The memo noted that the worst of the excesses in Israel’s far-right coalition have not yet been passed into law, or when they have the courts have severely limited them, but warned that the continuing efforts to push such legislation was harming Jewish-Arab relations inside the nation.
It is the second time in as many weeks that Lieberman has been furious at the European Union, angrily condemning them last week for criticizing the massive expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, and warning they are “irrelevant.”