Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, allowing those of all faiths and background and ethnicities to be a part of the nation. Some Arab members of the Knesset have drawn the criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu, however, as they have defended the Lebanese terror group, Hezbollah:
Joint Arab List MKs sparked a new controversy Monday when they condemned a recent decision by several Persian Gulf states to designate the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group a terrorist organization...
"Hezbollah is fighting the Israeli onslaught in Lebanon," Balad said in a statement. "This decision only seeks to serve and appease the United States and Israel. There is no need to label Hezbollah -- a group that represents a significant part of the Lebanese people -- as a terrorist organization, over the criticism leveled at it because of its involvement in the fighting in Syria."
A Balad source said the Gulf states' decision was "dangerous. It fuels the Sunni-Shiite feud, and exacerbates the sectarian rift in Lebanon, Syria and the entire Arab world."
The Arab MKs' statement prompted scathing criticism and condemnations from across the political spectrum.
"Have you gone mad?" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked while addressing the Knesset plenum Monday. "Will you still condemn [the GCC's decision] when Hezbollah fires missiles at your villages? Does Hezbollah distinguish between [Jewish and Arab] blood? It wants to destroy Israel and you are Israeli citizens. Hezbollah has been designated a terrorist organization by major Arab countries. This is a significant development, an astonishing one even, but what's equally astonishing is that two parties here have denounced this decision. There are major changes taking place in the Arab world, even if they have yet to permeate parts of the Knesset. Major Arab states have come to realize Israel isn't the enemy, but an ally in the war against Islamic State and Iran."