MKs outraged at Joint List’s Henin claim Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestinians

Coalition lawmakers took umbrage with a claim by Arab Joint List, Israeli MK Dov Henin Sunday that the government is ethnically cleansing Palestinians in Area C of Judea and Samaria by destroying their homes,in order to pave the way for Israeli  ‘settlers’ to move in.

Henin described the recent demolitions by the Israeli government of illegally built Arab structures in Judea and Samaria as “ethnic cleansing in a very sophisticated way,” to the British media outlet Sky News.

The Arab population in Judea and Samaria, which Henin said was ethnically cleansed, increased from 462,000 in 1949 to over 2.5 million in recent years.

Coalition MKs expressed outrage at Henin’s statements.

MK Amir Ohana (Likud) pointed out that both Israeli and Palestinian homes are razed in Judea and Samaria, and only after approval from the High Court of Justice.

“The person who wants a Judenrein state – cleansed of Jews – is the Holocaust denier and terrorist [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], who Henin surely considers a ‘partner for peace,’” Ohana added. “The fact is that the one who condemned a declaration that Hezbollah – which really seeks ethnic cleansing, of Jews – as a terrorist organization, was none other than the Hadash party of which Henin is a member. I’m here to remind him.”

Hadash is one of the parties making up the Joint List, and Henin identifies as a communist.

MK Nava Boker, also of Likud, called Henin’s comments “traditional communist anti-Semitism…said on the worker’s holiday [May 1] celebrating one of the greatest murderers of the 20th century.

“It seems like someone cleansed Dov Henin’s brain, otherwise it’s impossible to explain the delusions of his feverish head,” she added. “The only place in where Muslims…flourish and develop is in Israel.”

Boker called to fight incitement like Henin’s, adding that his statements show he fits in the Joint List, a faction in which he is the only non-Arab.

Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Shuli Moalem-Refaeli said she “suggests that Dov Henin get the full numbers from his friends in the Joint List about the European Union-sponsored Arab takeover of state-owned land in Area C.”

Moalem-Refaeli also recommended that Henin read the State Comptroller report that says the state does not sufficiently enforce building laws when they are broken by Arabs in Area C.

“Instead of criticizing the civilian administration, his party should praise it,” she quipped.

The Israeli government responded to the allegations in a statement to Sky News stating that demolition orders are applied to any illegally built structures belonging to Palestinians and Israeli residents alike.