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Israeli MP: Arabs who won't sing national anthem can't be judges

Anyone unwilling to sing the Israeli national anthem would not be allowed to judge claims right-wing MP

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Robert Iliatov, who is part of the Israeli committee that chooses the country’s judges has sparked controversy by suggesting that anyone unwilling to sing the Israeli national anthem would not be allowed to judge, reported The Independent.

“For me, a judge who does not want to sing ‘Hatikva’ cannot be a judge in the state of Israel, the Jewish nation state,” the right-wing MP told Army Radio. “I will not appoint someone who opposes on basic principle the state of Israel as a Jewish state.”

However, Aida Suleiman, an Arab MP, hit back, telling the newspaper: “This is Iliatov’s way of saying clearly that he won’t support the appointment of any Arab judge.

“Instead of saying he’s looking to appoint professional judges who want to protect justice and democracy he is looking for reasons to discriminate against Arabs who would be suitable professionals and be able to be good judges.

“This was not an isolated declaration but part of a way of thinking and a policy led by racist approaches,” she said. “We have been hearing ministers and vice ministers saying even worse things than this.”

In 2012, an Arab Supreme court judge abstained from singing the national anthem at an official ceremony and caused a lot of controversy.