Netanyahu Urges Haifa Mayor Not to Appoint Deputy Accused of Backing Hamas, Hezbollah

A view of Haifa port. (Zack Wajsgras/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Sunday on the newly elected mayor of Haifa, Mrs. Einat Kalisch-Rotem, to reverse her plan to appoint a deputy who has voiced support for Hamas and Hezbollah, backed BDS and claimed Zionism inspired the creation of the Islamic State terror group.

At the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said: “This morning before the meeting I sought Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch to request that she cancel the appointment of a deputy mayor who supports Hamas and Hezbollah, which have declare their intention to destroy the State of Israel. I hope that she will agree.

“I am pleased that our colleague [Interior Minister] Aryeh Deri has already begun to deal with the matter and I know that many others have also expressed their views. This is unacceptable; therefore, I am convinced that it will not happen.”

Public outrage erupted last week as reports came out of the upcoming appointment in Haifa of council member Raja Za’atra, a member of the Communist Party of Israel which has been criticized by many in recent years for supporting dictator Bashar Assad’s regime and its allies in the Syrian civil war.