DR. BASEL GHATTAS, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a member of its Knesset, spoke at the Arab Center in Washington, DC on Aug. 25 and warned of an increasingly anti-Arab climate within Israeli politics and society.
The lawmaker, one of 13 members of the Joint Arab List party, said several bills recently passed by the Knesset explicitly target Palestinian Israelis and their supporters.
One bill, the so-called “expulsion bill,” allows Knesset members to expel fellow lawmakers for incitement to violence or support of armed struggle against the state (see p. 8). Under the law, a lawmaker can be expelled if 90 members of the 120-seat Knesset vote in favor of expulsion. Ghattas charged that this bill is “very clearly designed toward the expulsion of Arab Knesset members.”