An internal Likud tribunal decides not to oust three party members accused of verbal and physical violence, including a man the prime minister had instructed to oust from the party after he told protesters against the judicial overhaul that he hoped “another six million” Ashkenazi Jews “will be burned.”
The panel overturns Netanyahu’s decision and brings Itzik Zarka back into the party registry while ruling that he will carry a suspension on probation for one year.
In a widely shared video in July, Zarka shouted at protesters, “Ashkenazim, whores, may you burn in hell,” referring to Jews of Eastern European origin. “I am proud of the six million that were burned, I wish that another six million will be burned,” he said, referencing the Holocaust. “Leftists are traitors, you are the cancer of the country.”
Zarka later apologized, saying he had been speaking in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, Netanyahu ordered party director-general Zuri Siso to formally remove Zarka from the party.
“We will not accept such shameful behavior in the Likud movement,” the statement read.
On Friday the Likud court described Zarka as “devoted and committed” to the party and said he “crossed red lines in a manner that cannot be accepted,” before restoring him.
איציק זרקא חבר מרכז ליכוד בולט ששרי הליכוד מהללים אותו, איחל הערב את המפגינים נגד ההפיכה המשטרית בצומת עין הנצי”ב שבכניסה הדרומית לבית שאן: “אשכנזים שרמוטות שתישרפו בגיהנום, טפו עליכם. אני גאה על 6 מיליון שנשרפו, גאה!”. pic.twitter.com/vAjl8dj7QD
— עדי חשמונאי (@adi_hashmonai) July 15, 2023
The tribunal rejected separate petitions against activists Rami Ben Yehuda and Moshe Meron over their contentious statements and actions, saying they “are lovers of their people and country” and lauding their commitment to the party in the face of “incited zombies.”
The Yesh Atid party responds: “Likud is spitting in the face of hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors and embracing back one of the leaders of the ‘poison machine’… Shame on you.”