The outspoken Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman has overstepped the bounds of civil discourse, according to The Anti-Defamation League, in a rare censure of an Israeli public figure on Wednesday.
Speaking at an elections event in Herzliya, Lieberman said on Sunday that Israeli Arabs who support the state “should receive everything [in terms of rights]; those against us, it cannot be helped, we must lift up an ax and behead them — otherwise we will not survive here.”
The ADL denounced the remark, calling it “divisive and unacceptable.” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said that “even suggesting that violence is an appropriate course of action against political rivals is beyond the pale.”
The Palestinians threatened to have Lieberman tried before the International Criminal Court for his comments. Meanwhile, a doctored image circulated on Palestinian social media depicting Lieberman as an Islamic State executioner.
Lieberman dismissed the ICC threat and said that Israeli-Arab Knesset members who are disloyal will find their citizenship revoked if he is appointed Defense minister.
However, his accession to Defense minister looks unlikely, as recent polls suggest that Yisrael Beitenu will win only five or six seats.