As to commentary and clarifying comments in brackets [        ] only:  © Mark Rosenblit



Note:  This will be a continuously updated compendium of the public statements and actions of, and concerning, "Israeli" Arab Members of Israel’s parliament, known as the Knesset. Arabs constitute approximately 20% of the citizenry of Israel proper (i.e., Israel within its former 1949 armistice demarcation lines) and approximately 10% of Israel's 120-member Knesset. Although Arab Knesset members (Arab MKs) constitute only a small group within Israel's parliament, their conduct -- which demonstrates naked antipathy for Israel's continued existence as a Jewish state, ideological support for Israel's enemies and sympathetic understanding for the continuous wave of terrorism being employed against Israel's Jewish population -- nonetheless reflects the long-held views of their larger "Israeli" Arab constituencies. If it were otherwise, then Israel's Arab electorate would have -- long ago -- elevated less revanchist and irredentist representatives to the Knesset. Yet, if there remains any doubt that "Israeli" Arab Knesset members faithfully represent the views of their "Israeli" Arab electorate, then the following symposium report by “Israeli” Arab sociology professor Nadim Ruhana which validates “Israeli” Arab rejection of Israel as a Jewish State (first article), the following results of a public opinion survey administered by the "Israeli" Arab polling firm of Mada al-Carmel which demonstrate, inter alia, that the overwhelming majority of “Israeli” Arabs view Zionism and the Law of Return as racist (second article), the following Jerusalem Post editorial concerning “Israeli” Arab mob violence against a visiting Jewish contingent at a soccer match (third article), the following account of “Israeli” Arab attitudes towards Arabs who have assisted Israel in thwarting Arab terror attacks (fourth article), the following Jerusalem Post editorial concerning the extent to which “Israeli” Arabs, including “Israeli” Arab political parties elected to the Knesset, identify with terrorist organizations seeking to annihilate the Jewish people (fifth article), the following Jerusalem Post editorial concerning the constitutional proposals of “Israeli” Arab organizations to disband Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people (sixth article), the following additional analysis of these same proposals (seventh article), the following account of the annual “Israeli” Arab Land Day march during which “Israeli” Arabs voice, inter alia, their support for suicide bombers and the idea that the State of Israel is “Occupied Palestine” (eighth article), and the following public opinion survey administered by the University of Haifa which shows widespread “Israeli” Arab rejection of Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish State (ninth article) should dispel any such skepticism. Read on:


Israeli Arab treatment worse since Or Report [First Article]

 By Dan Izenberg

(Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2004) The status of Israeli Arabs has deteriorated despite the recommendations of the Or Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the events of October 2000, according to Tel Aviv University Professor Nadim Ruhana.

Ruhana's findings are based on the findings of a tracking project that has been monitoring developments in Knesset legislation, government decisions, Israeli public opinion and public statements and declarations, he told an audience at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute's Center for Israeli Arab Studies last week.

The symposium was entitled "Equality for Arab Citizens in the Wake of the Or Commission Report." The commission, which investigated the disturbances in which 13 Arabs and one Jew were killed during 10 days of violent demonstrations, issued its report in September 2003, stating that measures should be taken to establish full equality.

According to Ruhana, the Knesset has instead taken legislative measures to further exclude Israeli Arabs by strengthening the concept of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. For example, a law has been passed to disqualify a candidate or party from running for Knesset if they do not accept this principle and pledge to uphold it.

Yet, he asked, how can the Jewish majority expect Arab candidates to support it when, according to public opinion polls, 67 percent of the Israeli Arab population they represent believes there is a contradiction between a Jewish state and a democratic state, and 64% believes Israel is not democratic?

Another law prohibits Palestinians who marry Israelis [i.e., “Israeli” Arabs] from gaining residency in Israel.

The government has also passed resolutions to establish -- with public funding -- a center to monitor demographic developments in Israel, and to increase the Jewish presence in Galilee and the Negev.

As for Jewish public opinion, the tracking project has found that 30% of the Israeli population supports the transfer of the Israeli Arab population, and more than 60% supports activities to encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate.

As for Jewish leaders, Ruhana referred to a statement by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon regarding Israeli Arabs, that one must distinguish between the [national] right to the Land and having [individual] rights in the Land.

He also pointed out that in the Ka'adan ruling, Supreme Court President Aharon Barak distinguished between equal rights for all citizens in the Homeland and the right of the Jews to the keys to the Homeland (a reference to the Law of Return, which grants each Jew [who immigrates to Israel] automatic citizenship.)


"The climate in Israel is not in the direction of the Or Commission but rather in the direction of the implementation of the exclusive Jewish state," said Ruhana.

He maintained that there could never be equality among Jews and Arabs in Israel until the Jews accept and internalize the fact that this country is the homeland of the Arabs who live in it, and that they are here by right and not by leave.

Ruhana said that public opinion polls show deep disaffection and alienation among a large majority of the Arab population, but "the Jews couldn't care less. And why is that? Because the idea of a Jewish state, its establishment and ongoing existence, is based on the idea of power and violence."

Ruhana pointed out that upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport's new terminal, passengers have no idea of an Arab presence in Israel until they reach customs, where, for the first time since disembarking, they come across a word in Arabic.

Ruhana called on Israeli Arabs to internationalize the struggle for recognition of their rights to the land by appealing to the U.N., E.U. embassies, and other international organizations.

"The Israeli Arabs should no longer accept the violence [against the Arabs] that we sense in Jewish immigration and in the education of the Jewish child. We must find new, but non-violent, ways of fighting."


Aida Toma-Suleiman, head of a non-profit organization of women against violence in Nazareth, charged that the government committee headed by former justice minister Yosef Lapid to implement the recommendations of the Or Commission did everything it could not to implement them.

"The implementation of civil equality is the right to have a say on everything that happens," said Toma-Suleiman. "For that, one has to recognize the historical right [of the Arab population] to the Land, to the Homeland. We do not feel that this country is ours."

She accused the government of taking seriously only one element of the Or Commission recommendations -- the call for Israeli Arabs to participate in a compulsory national service.

"Why does the government concentrate so much on this?" she asked. "Because they are not ready to discuss the collective rights of the Arabs. So they think about how to dismantle the collective by concentrating on individual rights [of Arabs as citizens of a Jewish state]. It is part of an attempt to create the 'new Arab' ", she said.

(©) The Jerusalem Post



Survey: Many Arabs dissatisfied with life in Israel [Second Article]

By: Hilary Leila Krieger

(Jerusalem Post, June 9, 2004) A recent poll of Arab Israelis paints a grim picture of the population's attitudes toward the State.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed think that "the status of the Arabs in Israel is worse today than 10 years ago," and 45% anticipate "Israel's transformation into an apartheid state," while 32% expect "increased Palestinian emigration from Israel." More than four fifths "reject compromising on the right of return [to the State of Israel] for Palestinian refugees [which, in the Arab lexicon, refers not only to the original Arab belligerents who vacated Israel during its 1948 War of Independence but, as well, to their millions of descendants who were born -- and reside -- abroad]."

In addition, 62% believe it is impossible for Israel to be both a Jewish and democratic state; 54% think equality between Jews and Arabs is not possible as long as Israel is identified as a Jewish state; only 33% describe Israel as a democracy; 94% consider Zionism "a racist movement"; and 87% feel the Law of Return [which permits any Jew residing outside of Israel to immigrate to the Jewish State] is "racist".

The poll was conducted by the Haifa-based Mada al-Carmel -- The Arab Center for Applied Social Research from January to March of this year. The survey of 854 people included Druze but not "the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem or the Syrian residents of the Golan Heights."

There was widespread dissatisfaction with quality-of-life issues: A mere 7% of respondents were satisfied with their standard of living, only 11% with education in Arab schools, and just 6% with the services offered by local councils.

Similarly, the percentage of those who believe there is equality between Jews and Arabs is low: only 4% when it comes to resource distribution, 10% in terms of private employment opportunities and 7% in government employment, 11% in the arena of political rights, and 30% on the issue of freedom of expression (the highest number in any category considered).

The sector that did the best was health and hospital services, with approximately half the respondents characterizing these as completely or close to completely equal.

The health system also received the highest degree of confidence from those questioned (74%), followed by the Supreme Court (61%), the Hebrew-language media (28%), the police (24%), and the Knesset (19%).

When it comes to the "civil or police forces," only 31% said it was appropriate for Arabs to serve on such bodies, while 28% backed participating in the army.

At the same time, 89% endorsed Arab participation on Israeli sports teams and 85% supported Arabs representing Israel in academic and professional delegations abroad.

Haifa University sociology Prof. Sammy Smooha, director of the Index of Relations Between Jews and Arabs in Israel, said the survey findings were broadly consistent with his own recently released data. His research, however, found that nearly 70% of Israeli Arabs accept Israel's right to exist within the Green Line [i.e., Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines] as "a Jewish and democratic state in which Jews and Arabs live together" and that 37.7% accept the Zionist principle of Israel's right to preserve a Jewish majority.

Smooha pointed out the importance of how the question were phrased; using the term "Zionism" versus "preserving the Jewish character of the State," for example, could provoke different responses on similar issues.

He added that Mada al-Carmel's "line of thinking is very nationalistic" and that it wants to show that Arabs are "opposed" to the State and "will fight to change the nature of the State."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Although it may seem anomalous that "Israeli" Arabs are so eager to represent on foreign soil the very State which they despise at home, there is an explanation. As unofficial emissaries of Israel at international symposia, "Israeli" Arabs are able to issue public denunciations of the Jewish State which carry great weight, garner enormous publicity, and materially contribute to the propaganda prong of the Arab nations' decades-long war against Israel. As for the nonsensical claim by Professor Sammy Smooha that Mada al-Carmel's findings are consistent with his own, yet -- at the same time -- fatally influenced by inbred biases, it is pointed out that the public conduct of "Israeli" Arab Knesset members validates the findings of that "Israeli" Arab polling firm rather than the findings of that leftist Jewish educator. Moreover, lest it appear that alleged discrimination in national resource allocation is the true cause of the "Israeli" Arab electorate's hatred of the Jewish State, please see the item in this Compendium from July 15, 2004 which establishes that Israel's Arab-populated towns actually receive a disproportionately high percentage of Israel's national budgetary allocations for housing, infrastructure and education.]



**Editorial** [Third Article]


Rioting in [the “Israeli” Arab town of] Sakhnin

(Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2006) Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi has launched an investigation into police conduct during riots which followed Saturday's goal-less soccer match between Israel's premier Arab team, Bnei Sakhnin, and [Jewish] Betar Jerusalem at the former's home turf. The very fact that such an investigation has been so quickly mandated is itself an admission that the police may not have handled themselves in sterling fashion.

The 4,000 cheering Sakhnin fans and 350 visiting Jerusalemites doubtlessly arrived with preset agendas. The match underscored ethnic and national hostilities. It began with firecrackers repeatedly hurled by Sakhnin supporters aiming for the Betar goalie, accompanied by rocks, some very sizable.

Bottles were hurled into the Betar stands (no bottles were sold to Betar fans). Shouts of "death to the Jews" quickly elicited retaliatory "death to the Arabs" responses. Flaming torches were lit and held aloft throughout the game in the Sakhnin benches, and one burning torch was lobbed on to the field. Betar fans, not known to be shrinking violets, were attacked and then went on their own rampage.

Both sides in these clashes cite police inaction and failure to stem the disturbances early on.

Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra has vowed that the police "will learn its lessons", that "changes in police district command may ensue", and that police presence at matches will be boosted. The trouble is that we've been there, seen that. Ezra's undertakings aren't new.

It isn't necessarily the number of officers that constituted the problem but their mind-set. Policemen were loath to step in and control the crowds.

In the police's own high echelons the origin of the problem is traced back to the October 2000 riots. Since then officers evince unmistakable dread to enforce the law in the Arab community. Many fear that use of force will result in internal investigations, inquiry commissions or even trials. The Sakhnin game seems to be a classic case of police trying their best not to get involved.

The violence in Sakhnin's spanking new Doha Stadium was hardly unusual for sports chroniclers. Soccer hooliganism is probably as old as the game though it wasn't recorded till the early 19th century. Often, instead of giving vent to tensions, the game amplifies them in a bizarre demonstration of communal camaraderie, if not tribalism.

The referee should have cancelled the game as soon as the first firecracker exploded. But to do so in Sakhnin would have been to risk pandemonium, especially since the firecracker ban is generally not used to cancel games.

After the game, in an attempt to segregate rival fans, the police first let out the thousands of Sakhnin supporters. However, the local fans then surrounded the guests and began stoning them. Things became so dangerous that officers led Betar supporters into the field. Betar tempers flared. The visitors began retaliating and taking out their fury on goal nets, seats, fence posts or anyone who got in their way.

As TV footage and witnesses from both sides attest, the 350 policemen, bolstered by 150 local security staff, did too little to maintain order. Only when border policemen appeared could the Jerusalem-bound buses exit Sakhnin.

This isn't mere sports-related rowdiness. The Sakhnin incident highlights increasing police reluctance to operate in Arab communities. Indeed the lack of adequate police response recalls the 2003 illegal construction of a gigantic mosque, later removed, in front of Nazareth's [Christian] Basilica of the Annunciation; the [Druze Arab] attack on Christian dwellers in Mughar last year; and the [Arab] lynching in Shfaram of [Jewish] terrorist Eran Natan Zada [after he had already been disarmed and placed in police custody].

If ever the police did have to demonstrate its reliability and commitment to the rule of law, it is particularly in minority communities. Chronically lackadaisical law enforcement in the Arab sector must be replaced by no-nonsense imposition of order, and not just to prevent the spread of violence to other communities. Right now police hesitate to even enter Arab towns, even at a price of turning a blind eye to serious crime.

Such absence does Israel's Arabs no favor. Middle-class Arab families in Triangle towns complain about the difficulty of keeping their youngsters on the straight and narrow because of police timidity. It's dangerous to give offenders the impression that they can get away with anything. Preventing thuggery isn't imprudent provocation; on the contrary, the failure to protect will most quickly lead to further loss of control.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Thank you for your cooperation [Fourth Article]

[“Israeli” Arabs despise other Arabs who help Israel to foil terror attacks]


(Jerusalem Post, March 6, 2006) 'Mussa," a former Palestinian collaborator who was relocated by the Shin Bet from the West Bank to Israel in 1994, sits with a fixed smile throughout our interview. He says he and his family -- two wives and many children -- have no problems in their current life.

"I make a decent living, my children go to school -- yes, they're proud of me -- and I get along with my neighbors," he says. "I have my honor."

A stocky, plain-looking, bespectacled man of about 40, Mussa is self-employed and lives in an urban, mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood. Asked what he has to say to Israeli Arabs who consider him a traitor, he maintains, "They have no right to object to what I did for Israel -- they're living in this country, they should be loyal to the state."

As for Palestinians who want him dead, he smiles thinly and says, "They're the enemy, there's nothing to say to them."

A one-time "Fatah Youth" member -- an unwilling one, and never a killer, he emphasizes -- Mussa says he volunteered his services to the Shin Bet at age 18 or 19 -- not for money, or for protection from Palestinian enemies, but "for the sake of justice." Other members of his hamula, or extended family, were also collaborators. He survived like this in the West Bank for more than a decade because he had a large hamula behind him. "Also," he says, "because I had a gun."

Our interview was arranged by a Shin Bet unit called the Security Administration for Assistance, which basically adopts Palestinian collaborators, reportedly numbering upwards of 1,000, who've been relocated in Israel since the PLO returned to the territories in 1994. The unit promised Mussa he would not be identified. When we finish speaking and I thank Mussa for the interview, he instantly uncoils in his chair and lets out not a sigh, but a soft groan of relief.

However much truth there had or hadn't been to what he said, of candor there had been none.

IN CONTRAST, an unscripted performance by relocated collaborators took place last December 15 in the Galilee village of Umm el-Kutuf. The tension that had been building there came to a head as local resident Fahme Kabha, 43, was shot to death in what villagers say was an ambush by the town's collaborators.

"Fahme had taken part in the local demonstrations against them," notes a cousin and neighbor, Dr. Mustafa Kabha, a lecturer in Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University who arrived at the site of the shooting about an hour after it occurred.

That night, as the armed collaborators held off angry residents after the shooting, thousands of Arabs from the region converged on the hilltop village. Police arrived in force and extricated the four collaborator families who had been settled in the village about five years ago. After police left, the mob torched the families' homes. Ilan Sadeh, head of the Menashe Regional Council, which includes Umm el-Kutuf, said police told him one of the collaborators has confessed to the killing.

"They brought drugs and crime to the village, things we'd never known," says Kabha, standing in his yard and pointing to the burned-out houses nearby. The 700-odd villagers had ostracized them, for both political and social reasons. "It's traditional for Muslims to shake hands after prayers, but after they would finish praying in the village mosque, no one would shake their hands," he says.

Relocated collaborators and their families reside throughout Israel -- about 60 percent of them in mixed Jewish-Arab cities such as Acre, Haifa, Ramle, Lod and Jaffa, and the remainder in Arab cities and villages. They are hated by the overwhelming majority of Israeli Arabs, and their general reputation even among Israeli Jews is that of criminals and drug dealers who became "snitches" for purely selfish, not ideological, reasons.

Security sources -- who dislike the old Hebrew term mashtapim, or collaborators, and prefer the more upbeat sayanim, or helpers -- say these are terribly unfair, inaccurate stereotypes.

"Sayanim run the gamut from the most highly educated urban professional to the most unschooled peasant, from the most Western to the most Eastern," say the sources.

COLLABORATORS ARE a prime source of information needed to thwart terror attacks; others are prisoner interrogations and surveillance (phone taps, etc.). When security forces report that they are currently dealing with 57 terror alerts, for example, or a suicide bomber loose in the Sharon region, or when they intercept a bomber on his way into Israel, there's a very good chance at least some of the information comes from collaborators.

In return for this information, the Shin Bet unit provides relocated collaborators with most of the money toward the purchase of a home, helps them find jobs, straightens out the more severe problems that occasionally arise with their neighbors, provides years of tutoring for their children and psychological counseling, if necessary, for the whole family. The total cost reaches well into the millions of dollars. The unit considers itself the collaborators' adoptive family, and acts on the conviction that Israel owes these people a "moral debt."

"Most of the families don't find out that the head of their household is a sayan until we get them out of the West Bank or Gaza and bring them to Israel. Often they don't know until the very last moment, when the danger is literally closing around them and they have to leave with only the clothes on their back. The sayan himself has already made the psychological switch, but the wives and children haven't, and suddenly their lives have turned completely upside down. Their new life is in Israel, which they've always thought of as the enemy. It's not a simple adjustment for them. It takes time," say the sources.

The great majority of collaborators, security sources continue, eventually become "successful" - meaning they work steadily and their families live stable lives. Those who live among Jews "often become close friends with their neighbors. Some Jewish families appreciate what they did for Israel, and go out of their way to welcome them. It's really beautiful."

A handful of collaborators have even converted to Judaism.

Mussa lived the first decade of his life in Israel among Jewish neighbors. "When I left, they cried," he says.

Many Jewish neighbors of other collaborators, however, don't want them around, mainly out of fear.

The "failures" among relocated collaborators are those who return to the West Bank or Gaza.

"They can be counted on the fingers of one hand," say security sources. "Their end isn't a happy one. Either they're thrown in a Palestinian jail, or they get shot in the town square, or they agree to take part in a terror attack on Israelis to clear their name."

Some who were criminals in the territories ultimately go back to crime in Israel, often ending up in jail. Haifa police say some collaborators living in the city's Hadar area have become part of the area's highly active criminal element. And a substantial percentage of collaborators in Israel live permanently on welfare.

STILL, FOR Israel as a whole, the collaborators are not a problem. For the Israeli Arab minority, however, they are.

"They're unwanted wherever they go," says Kabha. In recent years, he says, a dispute between collaborators and local residents in Baka al-Gharbiya, a large Galilee town, ended with a mob setting fire to a collaborator's home, which left two youths in the mob dead from smoke inhalation. Some residents in the lower Galilee town of Tira were injured when a mob ran a local collaborator rumored to be selling pornographic films out of town. A similar scene of a mob kicking a collaborator family out of their village occurred in the Galilee village of Makir-Jaidayda.

Security sources put this sort of reaction down to "hatred" on the part of Israeli Arabs toward collaborators. But in Umm el-Kutuf, at least, the local campaign against the collaborators was joined by some of the village's Jewish neighbors. Among the 1,000 or so people who rallied in protest against the collaborators two weeks before the shooting was regional council head Sadeh.

"While Israel owes collaborators a debt for helping in the fight against terror, they should be resettled among larger Arab populations, in cities, not in small villages where they stand out," he says.

When they are given land in Arab villages on which to build houses, as they were in Umm el-Kutuf, this acts as a further provocation because Arab villages and cities are notoriously short of land to accommodate the housing needs of new generations, he adds. The final insult, he says, is that the clearest cause of the Arab sector's land shortage, as in Umm el-Kutuf, is the State's confiscations of land vacated by local residents [after participating in the unsuccessful pan-Arab war to annihilate the nascent State of Israel] during the War of Independence.

"This is land that could have gone to the descendants of the people who  left in 1948 and 1949, so when it's given to collaborators, the villagers do not take it well," he notes.

Sadeh, a member of Kibbutz Ma'anit, says he does not know if the collaborator families brought drugs and crime to Umm el-Kutuf, as Kabha says. While noting sarcastically that such social problems are found even in communities with no collaborators, Sadeh adds, "This certainly is the popular image people have of collaborators. It's understood that they tend not to be model citizens. They turned against their own people, and in the main they did not do it out of Zionist motivations."

Arye Magal, a member of Kibbutz Barkai who also took part in the demonstration in Umm el-Kutuf, says one of his objections to the settling of collaborators in the area is "the danger it exposes us to. A lot of collaborators have been resettled in the nearby Jewish town of Harish, which is where the Karaja crime family, formerly from Ramle, also was resettled, and a friend of mine in Harish says the collaborators are known as street criminals there. Sometimes they come driving to the infirmary at our kibbutz in BMWs. Where do they get that kind of money?" Magal asks rhetorically.

WHILE the Shin Bet employs psychologists and social workers to help collaborators and their families adjust to life in Israel, it does not consider the collaborators' motivations to be relevant.

"No negative connotations are attached to them whatsoever. They are seen as victims, as people who prevented the murder of innocent Jews and who were endangered because of it. The only concern is to help them become integrated in Israel as normative citizens," security sources say.

The Shin Bet's relocation of collaborators who were "burned" (exposed) and thus subject to revenge by Palestinians, actually began in 1988, after the outbreak of the first intifada when Israel still had control over all the territories. These collaborators were taken and housed in a protected West Bank village, Fahme, near Jenin. Once the PLO took over the territories in 1994, Fahme was no longer safe, so they had to be brought across the Green Line into Israel proper.

First they are put up in hotels. Then, after the Security Administration for Assistance has consulted with them and scouted the country for suitable locales, they are settled into a residential neighborhood.

"The research is very detailed. Sometimes it is determined that one side of a certain street is not suitable to house the collaborator and his family, for instance, because there are many religious residents living there and they wouldn't accept them, while the opposite side of the street is okay," explain security sources.

The collaborators can't hide their identity from their new neighbors.

"For one thing, their accent is different from the accent of Israeli Arabs. Their customs, their clothes, their language -- everything is different. And even if they make up some story, their kids talk to the other kids in school," the sources say.

Rumors, both true and false, spread; on the day after the killing and riot in Umm el-Kutuf, a local family's house was burned because it was believed they, too, were collaborators. When it turned out to everyone's satisfaction that they were not collaborators, a collection was taken up in the village to reimburse the family.

Asked if the Shin Bet -- with its policy of running collaborators amidst Palestinians and resettling them amidst Israeli Arabs -- considered such false rumors and attacks to be unintended consequences of its policy, and thus accepted some measure of responsibility for them, security sources reply flatly "no," placing total responsibility on the Arab rumor-mongers and assailants.

Israeli Arabs "don't like having sayanim among them, but this is a country of law and they just have to learn to live with it," the security sources continue. In the rare cases that neighbors have made serious threats against collaborators, these neighbors were contacted by the Security Administration for Assistance, and the trouble ended. Mussa figures "about 70%" of his Arab neighbors accept him despite his background.

LAST SUMMER'S disengagement from Gaza and four upper West Bank settlements did not bring any new collaborators into Israel for resettlement, security sources say. That, however, would surprise many Israelis who got the mistaken impression from the media that the Gaza village of Dahaniya was populated by collaborators who were coming to live in this country.

While over 100 of Dahaniya's 400 or so residents have been resettled in Israel, they were not collaborators. The village -- named after an
Israeli official named Dahan who helped set it up -- got the reputation as an all-collaborator locale because, like Fahme in the West Bank, it
was used by the Shin Bet as a sanctuary for collaborators in the years between the outbreak of the first intifada and the entry of the PLO to the territories. But the Dahaniya residents who were resettled in Israel last August, alongside the evacuation of Gush Katif, aren't even Palestinians at all. Instead, they are members of the Sinai Beduin tribe Armilat, for whom Israel set up the Dahaniya enclave in 1977 in exchange for some of the tribe's land in Sinai, which Israel used for the Yamit settlements.

"They built an electronic fence around Dahaniya, we weren't allowed to go into Gaza and nobody from Gaza was allowed into Dahaniya. I've never been in Gaza in my life," says Massad Ashtiwi, 33, a spokesman for the resettled Beduin. They couldn't very well have informed on Palestinians in Gaza while living strictly apart from them in a closed, IDF-fortified enclave, notes Ashtiwi and Shlomo Dror, spokesman for the Civil Administration, which is in charge of the Armilat's resettlement.

Dahaniya sat a few hundred meters from the Kerem Shalom crossing point into Israel; residents were transported to and from their jobs on nearby kibbutz and moshav farms without ever passing through the Gaza interior.

Today they languish, unemployed, in tin sheds on a stretch of wasteland at the edge of the Negev Beduin village of Tel Arad. The IDF reached an agreement with the al-Jahabib tribe, one of four living in Tel Arad, to act as host and protector of the Armilat, says Sheikh Juma'ah el-Kashchar, the leader of the al-Jahabib in Tel Arad who is also a staff-sergeant major in the IDF and a veteran tracker.

The remaining residents of Dahaniya stayed in Gaza, mainly in the hope of making their way back to their "mother" tribe in Sinai. The 100-odd Beduin who came to Tel Arad are isolated, far from work opportunities, with the few cars between them as their only transportation. Their surroundings are desolate -- near their sheds is a wadi where they dump their garbage, rusted debris lies here and there, the water pipe breaks regularly and the rank portable toilets are by now beyond use, leaving people to take a walk and relieve themselves in the sand.

The families received about NIS 30,000 each from the Civil Administration, but they say the money went for their tin sheds and generators. Beyond those stipends, they live on welfare from the National Insurance Institute.

Wearing keffiyehs and the olive-green coats they got from the IDF, the Armilat Beduin at Tel Arad say the Israeli Arab community, including the Beduin of the Negev, have ostracized them as collaborators.

"There was incitement against us in the mosques. Taleb A-Sanaa [a Negev Beduin Knesset member] wrote in the Arab newspapers that we were collaborators," says Ismail Armilat, 48.

"My father took me to enroll in a high school in the area, and the principal told us flat out that he wouldn't accept me because we were collaborators," says Mohammed Armilat, 18.

Another man recalls when he hitched a ride with a local Beduin and told him he was from the Armilat tribe at Tel Arad. "He said, 'Oh, you're one of the collaborators.' But after I explained to him the truth, he said he understood."

The tribe hopes one day to live or at least work again among the Jewish moshavniks who've known and employed them for nearly 30 years; for now, though, the Jews don't want them and the Arabs, except for their host tribe in Tel Arad, have shunned them as traitors. They've exchanged an isolated but at least liveable enclave in Gaza for a barren stretch of no-man's land in Israel.

BY COMPARISON, the actual Palestinian collaborators resettled in this country have it pretty good. The Shin Bet looks after their every need. For the future, the unit's main concern is with the children of the collaborators.

"When they reach 15 or 16, they start to ask their parents difficult questions," say security sources. They say France's recent experience with the Harkis -- the Algerian collaborators resettled in France after the French left Algeria in 1962 -- shows that the identity crisis comes fully to the surface in the third generation, among the resettled collaborators' grandchildren.

In the mixed city of Ramle, whose population is about 70,000, hundreds of families of collaborators have been resettled since 1994, mainly in the Arab section of the city. The same has happened in neighboring Lod. Because of Ramle's size, the resettled collaborators don't stand out like they do in an Arab village. Their children make up a large proportion of the student body in Ramle's Arab schools. The state-sponsored community center, or matnas, in the city's Arab sector takes part in a nationwide tutoring program, called Shahaf, for the children of collaborators.

The head of the matnas in Ramle's Arab sector, former city councilman Michael Fanous, has a clear distaste for collaborators, even though he assumes most of them went to work for the Shin Bet either out of economic desperation or because they were blackmailed into it. However, Fanous says he holds nothing whatsoever against the collaborators' children, and wants only to integrate them into the Israeli Arab community. He is confident this will happen, citing local history for evidence, but only with time.

"There are a lot of Arabs in Ramle whose families were collaborators -- spies -- for Israel in 1948, and nobody knows who they are anymore. Same in other mixed cities -- nobody knows their origin. Today they're part of the Arab community of Israel," he says. "So we want to teach the children of these new collaborators to be loyal to their people, the Arab people. They're not Jews, you know. We're trying to help these kids, to teach them, support them, and over the coming generations the stigma they carry will disappear. Time will provide the solution."

(©) The Jerusalem Post



**Editorial** [Fifth Article]


Siding with the enemy

[While Israel is under simulataneous attack from Hizbullah rockets in the North and Hamas rockets in the South, many “Israeli” Arabs, including “Israeli” Arab parliamentarians, show support for these terrorists and disdain for Israel]

(Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2006) Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah exposed his unabashed racism last Thursday when offering his "apologies" to the family of the two Nazareth boys killed by one of his Katyushas a day earlier.

In an interview on Al-Jazeera TV, Nasrallah said he hadn't meant for his rockets to slay Arabs -- only Jews. The two small brothers "were inadvertent victims," who, he pronounced, "have joined the ranks of martyrs for the Palestinian cause."

Too little attention was paid to this, both at home and abroad. Nasrallah evinced no compunction in distinguishing between the blood of Arab children and Jewish ones. The murder of seven-year-old Omer Pesachov and his grandmother Yehudit Itzkowitz at Moshav Meron on July 14, for instance, was obviously no cause for apology. Young Omer was fair game and legal prey because he was Jewish.

The fact that Nasrallah regrets killing two Arab children while striving to kill Jewish youngsters should surprise no one.

However, what should take us aback is the fact that such distinctions are even made on our side of the border, and this despite the fact that, as reported on the weekend in The Jerusalem Post, Jewish and Arab children share the very same bomb shelters in mixed cities like Haifa. One would assume that this would enhance the sense of shared destiny in the face of the same menace.

Israel's Arabs and Jews are too intertwined geographically for the rockets to home in exclusively on those their dispatchers earmark for destruction. The danger is nonselective and the shells indiscriminate.

Nevertheless, some Israeli Arabs have been reported watching from Galilee rooftops for incoming Katyushas and cheering when they slam into Jewish villages nearby. This is all too reminiscent of Arabs dancing on the roofs each time one of Saddam's Scuds flew overhead and struck Tel Aviv during the first Gulf War.

Incomprehensibly, even the tragedy in Nazareth couldn't change minds. The immediate knee-jerk reaction of enraged neighbors after the bombing was to blame Israel -- not Hizbullah. A slew of spurious charges was unleashed -- from claiming that no instructions on safety procedures were issued in Arabic (patently untrue, as anyone who tunes to channel 33 knows) and that the government builds no shelters in Arab homes.

The government, however, is not in the construction business in Jewish homes either. Regulations mandate the addition of security rooms to houses put up since 1992, and this has been in effect in Arab as well as Jewish areas.

The fact is, as Nazareth Deputy Mayor Ali Salem candidly admitted: "Our people didn't expect to be hit. The rockets are only intended for Jews. We told them to stay indoors, we told them to take precautions, but they refused even after the boys were killed, even after the funeral. They disregard all instructions, as if this war isn't their concern."

But that's the least of it. Druse Deputy Knesset Speaker Majallie Whbee (Kadima) noted that "leaders of Arab parties are busy these days inciting Israel's Arabs against the IDF action in Lebanon."

Balad has been disseminating leaflets calling on Israeli Arabs to "demonstrate against the slaughter by Israel of Gazans and Lebanese." Hizbullah terrorists are dubbed "popular resistance fighters."

The Balad circulars predict "Israel won't achieve its aims." Local Arabs are urged to "stand by our nation in Gaza and Lebanon against Israel's beastly aggression."

Whbee added that he "cannot find a single Arab-list MK who'll express any empathy for Israelis currently under fire."

Balad MK Azmi Bishara proves Whbee's contention. In an interview with the BBC he refused to utter any criticism of Hizbullah, stressing that he regards himself "as one of the victimized people of the region," and that the slain Nazareth children are to be "added to the list of victims of Israeli war crimes."

On Sky News, he said Israel had "destroyed" Lebanon, comparing its offensive to a nuclear bomb. More of the same can be found on the ARAB48 Web site, in which Bishara's Balad audaciously sides with the enemy.

No other country would abide such sedition during wartime. A bill revoking the Knesset membership of any MK who overtly supports Israel's enemies was passed last week in preliminary reading. The legislative process must be speeded up and the new law enforced.

(©) The Jerusalem Post



**Editorial** [Sixth Article]


Equality and Destruction

[Mainstream “Israeli” Arab secular organizations join the extremist “Israeli” Arab Islamic Movement in proposing an end to Israel as a Jewish nation-state]

(Jerusalem Post, March 4, 2007) Attempts to formulate an Israeli Constitution are fast approaching the status of a national sport. Different proposals, with diverse emphases on the Jewishness and inherent democracy of the State, proliferate. Now a wholly new element has been tossed into this vibrant debate -- one that would erase the Jewish character of the State altogether.

The latest draft constitution was produced by Adalah, the 10-year-old organization purportedly seeking to uphold the rights of Israel's Arab citizens. It redefines the state not as Jewish but as "democratic, bilingual and multicultural" -- all objectives much beloved by enlightened World opinion and legitimately resonant, but in this case both enticing and deceptive.

The Adalah outline remarkably resembles what the dubiously cancelled PLO Charter touted for decades -- replacing Israel with a supposedly democratic state. The PLO Charter too employed seemingly "democratic" allures to mislead overseas observers, while in effect demanding Israel's destruction. The only difference is that the PLO professed an intent to spread its "democracy" throughout "western Palestine," [i.e., Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines as well as Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the eastern portion of Jerusalem] while Adalah takes the establishment of a Palestinian state [in all of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the eastern portion of Jerusalem] for granted (it limits Israeli jurisdiction strictly to pre-1967 borders) but then demands that the within-the-Green-Line residue no longer constitute a Jewish state.

It wants the Law of Return abolished; Israel's national anthem, flag and emblem changed; all land claimed to have been confiscated from Arabs "returned in full;" ratification of refugees' "Right of Return;" returning "uprooted" Israeli Arabs to their villages; and recognition of Beduin property rights over all they assert to own and "reverse discrimination" to compensate Israeli Arabs "for the systematic discrimination against them." Moreover, Adalah's constitution obliges Israel to officially apologize "for the injustice which Israel's creation had caused the Palestinian nation."

The most worrying aspect is that this isn't an Adalah foible. As the authors of the document note, it represents "the broad mainstream Arab-Israeli position." Views such as it enunciates have been vocalized by the radical Islamic Movement, as well as by the Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee [which latter organization comprises, inter alia, all “Israeli” Arab members of the Knesset]. In recent position papers the latter two demanded a return to villages abandoned in 1948, administrative Arab-sector autonomy, separate representation for Israeli Arabs in international organizations, veto power on major legislative/executive decisions, the elimination of Jewish state symbols and an overhaul of immigration policy.

There are barely any discernible differences between Adalah's proposed Constitution and the "Future Vision for Palestinian Arabs in Israel," prepared by the National Committee of Arab Mayors in Israel and the soon-to-be-released "Haifa Covenant," mostly composed by the Mada el-Carmel Arab Center for Applied Social Research. As Adalah acknowledges, many of its members participated in compiling the above two documents, which Adalah endorses as "expressions of the political and social empowerment of Arabs in Israel." Prof. Shlomo Avineri, a respected centrist and diplomat, perceives Adalah's draft as nothing less than "an extreme nationalist Arab plan for Israel's annihilation as a Jewish state, while coating these aims in the outward trappings of human rights and justice."

Fortunately that isn't exclusively a Jewish viewpoint. The Forum of Druse and Circassian Authorities in Israel also outrightly rejects Adalah's paper, reaffirming Israel's standing as "a Jewish and a democratic state that champions equality and free elections. We refuse to support the eradication of the State to which we had tied our fate in a bond forged in blood."

It should be obvious that a community that pledges itself to Israel's destruction -- however elegantly termed -- cannot at the same time effectively battle real manifestations of discrimination and advance the positive agenda to which it has historically been committed. The equality and destruction agendas don't mix. Israeli Arab leaders and organizations need to choose between them, and the Adalah Constitution is part of the wrong choice.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


'Kassaming' coexistence [Seventh Article]

By Evelyn Gordon

(Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2007) As Hamas resumed rocket barrages on Israel last week, Israeli Arab leaders fired another salvo in their own war against the country. Their methods are different, but the goal is unabashedly the same: eliminating the "Zionist Entity."

The Haifa Declaration, published last Monday by some 50 intellectuals and political activists, is the fourth and final document in a series outlining Israeli Arab leaders' vision of what Israel should be. The others were the Mossawa Center's 10 Points, the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee's Future Vision and Adalah's Democratic Constitution. Together, these documents' drafters comprise virtually the entire political, intellectual and civil society leadership of the Israeli Arab community [including all Arab MKs], excluding the Islamic Movement [although the latter’s views on Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation-state are identical with those of the former]. And their almost identical prescriptions leave no doubt about their common goal.

The Haifa Declaration, unusually, tries to conceal this goal by stating that should Israel accept its demands, the Arabs would in turn recognize the "Israeli Jewish people's" right to self-determination. However, its demands make a mockery of that promise.

The main demands are as follows: 

1. Establishing a Palestinian state -- whose residents would then be given the right to relocate to Israel (and vice versa). 

2. Letting 4.4 million descendants of Palestinian refugees "return" to Israel. 

3. Repealing the Law of Return, which entitles Jews worldwide to immigrate to Israel. 

4. Making Israel a "state based on equality between the two national groups." 

5. Giving Israeli Arabs veto power over issues that affect them.

Some of these are mutually contradictory: If, for instance, millions of Palestinians indeed moved to Israel, there would be no need for an Arab veto; they would become the majority, and no decision would pass without their consent in any case.

What all have in common, however, is emptying the Jewish people's "right to self-determination" of any content.

The first two would accomplish this by making the Jews a minority in their own country, thereby eliminating their ability to control national decision-making. That negates the very essence of self-determination: a group's right to govern itself.

The third has a dual goal: facilitating Arab efforts to achieve majority status and destroying Israel's character as the Jewish national home. After all, a national home is precisely where someone tired of minority status elsewhere can go to enjoy national self-determination. That is why even liberal democracies such as Germany, Finland, Ireland and Poland have fast-track immigration procedures for members of the dominant national group. Under the Haifa Declaration, Palestinians living abroad could move either to the Palestinian state or the new binational Israel. Jews living abroad would be able to do neither.

Numbers four and five seek to curtail Jewish self-determination even should Jews remain a majority here, by making Israel binational (i.e. "based on equality between the two national groups") and giving the Arab minority veto rights over decisions that affect them. Similar arrangements do exist elsewhere, though usually only where competing ethnic groups are closer in size, and such arrangements obviously limit each group's ability to govern itself. A binational Israel, however, would eviscerate Jewish self-government, affecting everything from defense policy to school curricula.

THIS PRINCIPLE would, for instance, enable Israeli Arabs to veto any military response to terror attacks on Jews, as this community views residents of all the surrounding countries as kinsmen and therefore considers itself negatively affected by military action against them. That would eliminate a crucial element of self-determination: the right to self-defense.

Similarly, the document explicitly requires Israel to acknowledge full responsibility for "the Nakba" (the 1948 refugee crisis) and "the Occupation," and "acknowledging" obviously precludes educating one's children to the contrary. Thus schools would be barred from teaching about Arab responsibility for the refugee crisis -- the Arabs' rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan, which would have created a Palestinian state, and the subsequent attack on nascent Israel by five Arab armies, sparking a war in which some 600,000 Arabs fled -- or for the "occupation," which began when Israel defeated three Arab armies that massed on its borders in 1967 with the declared intention of destroying it. Jewish schools in Israel would in fact have less control over curricula than Jewish schools in America and Europe.

In short, for all the lip service about Jewish self-determination, the document essentially proposes two Palestinian national homelands (the Palestinian state and the binational or Palestinian-majority "Israel") and no Jewish one.

What makes this document particularly chilling is that it undoubtedly represents the most liberal component of Israeli Arab society: For instance, it explicitly declares that women are oppressed within Arab society and demands that this stop; it even unequivocally condemns "family honor" killings. But if even the most liberal Israeli Arabs refuse to accept a Jewish state, what hope is there for coexistence?

Ironically, this declaration and its predecessors were produced with funding from European and Jewish groups that seek to promote coexistence. The Haifa document was initiated by the Mada al-Carmel organization, whose donors include a Canadian government foundation and an American Jewish group, the New Israel Fund (NIF). The Mossawa Center's donors include the European Commission, the German government, two European nonprofits and two Jewish organizations, including NIF. Adalah's donors include the European Commission, the Swiss government, several European nonprofits and at least two Jewish groups, again including NIF. Yet by funding such projects, far from promoting coexistence, they are promoting an Israeli Arab campaign to eliminate the Jewish State -- thereby convincing many Israeli Jews that coexistence is impossible.

Equally ironically, these same Israeli Arab leaders complain constantly about being called a "fifth column," proposals to "transfer" their towns to a Palestinian state and polls showing that many Israeli Jews view Israeli Arabs as a security and demographic threat. But when they openly declare that their goal is eradicating the Jewish state, the only surprise is that such phenomena are not more widespread.

Israeli Arab leaders, and their Jewish and European donors, should understand one thing: Israel's Jewish majority will never willingly concede its national home. Thus by encouraging aspirations to destroy the Jewish State rather than encouraging acceptance of it, they are sowing the seeds not of coexistence, but of civil war.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Thousands of Arabs mark Land Day [Eighth Article]


Yaakov Lappin, THE JERUSALEM POST    Mar. 30, 2008


Thousands of Israeli Arabs waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in praise of "Martyrs [i.e., suicide bombers and other Arab terrorists who died while committing atrocities against Israel’s Jewish population]" during a march in Sakhnin to commemorate Land Day on Sunday.

A picturesque Galilee backdrop of green hills was punctured by megaphone shouts in Arabic of "Do not worry, mother of martyr, your son did not die in vain," "We are with the youths who throw rocks," and "We do not fear Israel, the terrorist state."

Police kept a low profile, monitoring the event from a helicopter high above and manning a checkpoint at the entrance to Sakhnin.

In Hebrew, marchers chanted slogans against Defense Minister Ehud Barak, shouting, "Barak, how many children did you murder today?"

The demonstrators marched from Sakhnin to the neighboring village of Arrabe, where they gathered in empty market stalls to mark 32 years since a demonstration in the area against government use of local lands [i.e., the exercise of eminent domain for public purposes] degenerated into a bloody confrontation with security forces, resulting in the deaths of six people.

"Thousands are here to express their view in a civilized manner," MK Ibrahim Sarsour (United Arab List-Ta'al) said. "We are not calling for independence or autonomy. Our slogan is that Israel needs to include the Arab minority in its national planning. We, the Arab minority, are out of the government's plans."

As Sarsour spoke, hundreds of participants shouted, "Palestine is Arab and the Golan is Syrian!"

Asked to respond to the chants around him, Sarsour said, "These calls are understandable," but added that "they have no place here."

A short distance away, a struggle ensued for control of the microphone, as bearded youths took control and began shouting "Palestine!" Other youths covered their faces with keffiyehs and cheered. The show was short-lived, however, as other rally participants showed disapproval and regained control of the microphone after a brief scuffle.

"This is the central Land Day event in the country," MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said, as he walked at the front of the march with a number of village notables. "This symbolizes the fight of Arabs for existence in Israel. We're fighting waves of racism and fascism, with Knesset members like [NU/NRP's Effi] Eitam and [Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor] Lieberman competing over who can be the most racist."

"We're not temporary visitors here, and we've seen harder days after 1948," he said, adding that there was no need to apologize over calls in favor of "Martyrs."

"Our language is not the language of the Establishment," Barakei said. "A Martyr is someone who sacrificed himself for his Homeland, such as those who fell in 1976. This is our language, and it's the tongue we speak in. We don't speak in the language of racists."

Other marchers, like Basher and Sahab, two young men from neighboring Nazareth, said they considered "suicide bombers from Gaza to be Martyrs, too."

"This is a holy day for us, a day of struggle," Basher said. "Every Israeli government has taken land in the Galilee and the Negev, and we're fighting against that. We want to remind the world that we're under Occupation [i.e., Israel is really “Occupied Palestine”]."

Said Hasnen, an editor at the weekly Israeli Arab newspaper Kul al-Arab [Voice of the Arabs], held a lively discussion with a friend while marching to Arrabe. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Hasnen called into question the historical attachment of Jews to Israel, saying, "The Torah mentions Palestine. We are the permanent ones here, Israel is the visitor."

His friend, Hussein Kalaila, added, "Why should we be Israelis? I have a Palestinian identity. We are Palestinian Arabs in every way. This land is called Palestine."

A statement released this week in honor of Land Day by the NGO Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said: "This colonial regime has now been in existence for over 60 years, on the basis of a Zionist ideology to control the 'Land of Israel'... The apartheid regime was overthrown in South Africa... such regimes have no place in this century."

Copyright 1995- 2008 The Jerusalem Post


Poll: Majority of Israeli Arabs Oppose Existence of Jewish State [Ninth Article]

Two thirds of Israeli Arabs say they are opposed to Israel's continued existence as a Jewish and Zionist state, a poll by Haifa University said.

 By David Lev

(Arutz Sheva, May 18, 2011, updated May 19, 2011) Two thirds of Israeli Arabs say they are opposed to Israel's continued existence as a Jewish and Zionist state, a special poll commissioned by Haifa University released this week said. The poll also shows, among other things, that nearly 30% would like to see Israel disappear altogether, and that 38% do not believe that there was a Holocaust.

The poll was directed by Haifa University professor Sami Smooha on behalf of Haifa University's Jewish-Arab Center, part of an annual project by the Center to determine relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Smooha will officially present the poll and his analysis of the results at a special conference next Sunday at the Center. Those polled included a scientific sampling of 700 Israeli Arabs 18 years of age and older, including representative samples of the Druze and Bedouin population. The Jewish portion of the poll queried 700 Israeli Jews 18 and over, including new immigrants, Hareidim and residents of Judea and Samaria.

The poll highlighted a clear radicalization of Israeli Arabs. Over 62% said that Israelis “are foreigners who do not fit in in this region, and they will eventually leave the country.” Another 71% said that “the Jews are primarily responsible for the 'nakba' -- the term applied to the fleeing of the newly declared state of Israel by tens of thousands of Arabs in 1948.

Perhaps as a reaction to the hostile feelings displayed by Israeli Arabs revealed by the poll, Israeli Jews told pollsters that they felt “distant” from Israeli Arabs. Over 68% of Jews said they felt this distance, and 67.9% said that they avoided driving through Arab towns and villages. Over half, however, said they would have no problem with their boss being Arab, and nearly 60% agreed that the establishment of the State of Israel was a major “tragedy” for Arabs.

In presenting the initial findings of the poll Tuesday, Smooha said that despite the differences, the poll showed that the majority of Jews and Arabs were committed to coexistence.

© Arutz Sheva, All Rights Reserved



[Note: Despite the above depictions of widespread “Israeli” Arab hostility to the existence of any Jewish State in any portion of the biblical Land of Israel, it would be nonetheless inaccurate to portray such animus as being universal among “Israeli” Arabs. With rare exceptions, “Israeli” Druze Arabs (excluding those residing in the Golan Heights) accept, and are loyal to, the Jewish State; and, consequently, they are universally conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces.  Other “Israeli” Arabs may volunteer for army service, but, except for a small number of “Israeli” Bedouin Arabs, they do not.  And there is even a Druze Arab member of Knesset, Ayoub Kara of the Likud Party, who is more loyal to the State of Israel and to its character as a Jewish State than are many Jewish MKs.]

In connection with the above articles and the below Compendium, bracketed [          ] items contain my explanatory comments and form no part of the republished news items. -- Mark Rosenblit



(IsraelWire, May 26, 2000) Heads of Israel's Arab community have issued a call not to lease homes to the refugees of the former Southern Lebanese Army, deemed an enemy to Israel's Arab community. Hadash [Arab] MK Muhmad Barakeh labeled the former SLA members "The scum of the Occupation." He added, "We will not agree that the villages will become a dumping ground for the human scum, that sold their souls to the Israeli Occupation for money." The MK added, "SLA members are mercenaries and from a moral standpoint, Israel is not obliged to assist them or absorb them into the country. They were paid for their services. They should be returned to Lebanon -- to Lebanese authorities, to be dealt with in an appropriate fashion."

[Note: The SLA consisted of Muslim, Druze and Christian Arabs, residing in a small strip of southern Lebanon (known as the Security Zone), who elected to cooperate with Israel in protecting the latter's northern towns from Hizbullah terrorists in exchange for freedom from domination by Syria whose troops -- numbering 40,000 -- were occupying the remainder of Lebanon. After the collapse of the Zone in the Spring of 2000, thousands of SLA members and their families fled south, across the border, to Israel in fear for their lives -- most of them now penniless. "Israeli" Arab MKs believe that the SLA's long-time loyalty to Israel constituted treason to the overriding Arab Cause (i.e., the destruction of Israel), for which they deserve "to be dealt with in an appropriate fashion" (i.e., they should be put to death).  Meanwhile, Israel withdrew its military forces to the international border, as later demarcated and certified by the United Nations, in strict compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution number 425. Despite this withdrawal, due to the fact that Lebanon has never recognized the legal existence of Israel, Lebanon continues its concomitant refusal to recognize the international border as the legitimate northern boundary of the "illegitimate" Jewish State.]



(IsraelWire, June 6, 2000) "The Hizbullah has won, and for the first time since 1967 we have tasted the sweet taste of victory. The Hizbullah should be proud of their achievement and of humiliating Israel", stated MK Azmi Bishara while speaking before 500 at a victory convention in Um al-Fahm [an Arab village within pre-1967 Israel, all of whose residents are Israeli citizens]. The hall was decorated with PLO Authority (PA) flags and nationalistic music played in the background. The participants stood for a minute of silence in commemoration of the Arabs killed in Israel and Lebanon. MK Bishara repeated that Israel had suffered a defeat in Lebanon, despite trying to appear to the world as agreeing with the UN decision on withdrawal from Lebanon.

[Note: Arab MK Bishara, although a Christian, seeks to curry favor both with the militant Sunni Muslims of Um al-Fahm (stronghold of the northern faction of Israel’s Islamic Movement) and with the Christian-hating Shiite Muslims of Hizbullah.  That the defeat of Israel in southern Lebanon was also the defeat of Bishara’s fellow Christians in southern Lebanon seems not to bother this MK at all.  To the contrary, his hatred of Israel trumps all else.  The following is a more complete republication of his speech: "Hizbullah has won, and for the first time since 1967 we have tasted the sweet taste of victory. Lebanon, the weakest of the Arab states, has presented a small model from which, if we examine it in depth, we can draw the conclusions necessary for success and victory. Hizbullah ensured that its guerrilla war would be well publicized, and each of its achievements greatly influenced the morale of the Israeli people, whose patience was slowly exhausted by the losses it absorbed from Hizbullah."]



(Hamas News, June 19, 2000) Occupied Jerusalem -- A prominent Arab member of the Zionist parliament, the Knesset, has indicated that the Oslo process is approaching its "natural dead end." Azmi Bishara, a former professor of philosophy, said during a seminar at the Rashad al Shawwa Center in Gaza yesterday [attended by PLO and Hamas members] that the Israeli government was unlikely to reach any genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians if it stuck to its political insolence and territorial expansionism. "The conflict is over Jerusalem, the refugees, the borders and the settlements, and if Israel insisted on its present stance on these paramount issues, then there would be no solution." He pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak might tolerate a Palestinian state on up to 85% of the West Bank (minus Jerusalem), adding that the Israeli premier would only allow a Palestinian state that is completely surrounded by Israeli-controlled territory. Bishara argued that the Palestinians would have to put up a stubborn resistance to American and Israeli pressure by achieving internal unity and building a healthy democracy. Finally, Bishara opined that the Palestinian people were facing three choices in the weeks and months ahead, either to accept Zionist dictates, agree to an open-ended peace process, or revert to resistance and armed struggle.



[Arab MK Muhammed Kena’an says that Temple Mount is not under Israel’s sovereignty]

(Arutz Sheva Daily News, June 20, 2000) An unlikely assemblage of Knesset members from the Likud, Meretz and Arab parties toured the Temple Mount this afternoon with the intention of examining the extensive damages caused by illegal Arab construction on the Mount. Arutz-7 correspondent Effie Meir reports that Moslem Waqf officials prevented the MKs from entering those areas in which its building projects are underway, and did not permit the politicians to take any pictures. Members of the Committee to Preserve Israel's Archeological Sites, who accompanied the MKs, plan to submit a letter to Public Security Minister Shlomo Ben Ami tomorrow, insisting both that journalists be permitted into the area of the building site and that the traffic of trucks to and from the holy site be halted. Correspondent Meir adds that Arab MK Muhammed Kena'an claimed that the Waqf activities were perfectly legal "since the Temple Mount is not under Israeli sovereignty."


Subject: MK Tibi and other Arab MKs condition support for Peres

Date: Mon, 3 July 2000 19:17:45 +0200


To: <>


[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi will make his vote for Israel’s President conditional upon the candidate’s commitment to release Arab terrorists from prison]

News Of Arabs In Israel - July 2000 (

Following President Weizman's announcement to resign from his post as President, the race for this prestigious post has begun. The contenders are MK Moshe Katzav, from right-wing Likud Party, and Minister Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister from Israel One List (Labor Party). To win, the candidates must have the confidence of 61+ of the 120 member Knesset. [Arab] MKs Saleh Tarif [a Druze], Nawaf Massalha, and Bosnia Jbara, are sure to vote for Peres since they are part of the [Labor Party] coalition, while Ayoub Qara [a Druze Arab Likud MK] is likely to support his party member from the Likud, Moshe Katzav. [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi [who is a former official spokesman for Yasser Arafat and remains the latter's confidant] said that he is leaning towards Peres, but made his vote conditional on the latter agreeing with certain demands of the Arab citizens in Israel, especially releasing the Security Political Arab prisoners [terrorists who murdered and maimed Jews on behalf of the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad], eliminating the demolition orders on thousands of [illegally-built] Arab homes. [Arab] MK Tawfiq Khatib said "the United Arab List decided to meet with the two candidates before taking a final decision, and will request a written commitment." His colleague in the list, [Arab] MK Talab El-Sana, said that he "favours abstaining or voting with a white ballot. Arab MKs discussed the possibility of running an Arab candidate to the post but quickly dropped the idea." [Arab MK] Mohammad Baraka from Hadash said "the right wing keeps provoking and inciting against us with racist motives; they do not deserve a worthy gift from us by voting to their candidate." [Arab MK] Azmi Bishara said "the choice is between Shimon Peres and a white ballot, depending on the discussion with Peres regarding the [terrorist] prisoners. Still we do not expect from him a clear commitment, only feeling his intentions."


Date: Wed, 16 August 2000

Ha'aretz: Police bar all visitors from Temple Mt. after [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi leads crowd chanting "With blood and fire, we will redeem Palestine."

By: Baruch Kra and Amira Hass, Ha'aretz Correspondents

A potentially violent clash was averted yesterday when Jerusalem police intervened in a scuffle between members of the Temple Mount Faithful group and Palestinian demonstrators. The Temple Mount Faithful followers were approaching the entrance to the Temple Mount when they were met at Dung Gate by dozens of Palestinians, including the Palestinian Authority's Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal Husseini, and [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi (Ta'al), chanting: "With blood and fire, we will redeem Palestine." The Palestinians were refusing to let the religious group members, who usually visit the site on Tisha B'Av, enter the enclosure.

Jerusalem police chief Major General Yair Yitzhaki asked the heads of the Waqf religious trust to allow the Temple Mount Faithful access to the site, but they refused. In response, Yitzhaki issued an order banning not only the Temple Mount Faithful but also any tourists from visiting the Temple Mount yesterday. "Whoever upsets the status quo must know that they too will be harmed by doing so," Yitzhaki said. Visits to the Temple Mount by tourists constitute a significant income for the Waqf.

Temple Mount Faithful followers are usually allowed access to the site each year on Tisha B'Av. To prevent disturbances, they are allowed onto the Mount in groups of two or three. The police permit does not, however, allow the group's leader, Gershon Salomon, to enter the site.

"It's an absolute disgrace for the Israel Police," Salomon said, "to shamefully give in to Faisal Husseini's little gang."


Interview: [Arab] MK Hashem Mahameed -- Israeli Arabs not endangered by Arab armies; Jewish Right of Return should be cancelled

Aaron Lerner, Date: 24 August, 2000

IMRA interviewed United Arab List MK Hashem Mahameed, in Hebrew, on August 24, 2000:

[Mr. Mahameed is a member of the critical Knesset Foreign Affairs And Defense Committee]

IMRA: Can you comment on the following observation by an unnamed Israeli Arab reporter quoted in Yediot Ahronot's website on 19 August: "We do not have a common security interest. You go to the army because you live in danger from us. There is no danger for us and we have no reason to serve in the army."

Mahameed: Was this within the context of the question of army service?

IMRA: It was within such an article but my interest in the observation is independent of the issue of army service.

Mahameed: First I do not agree with what the person is saying unless they accept the opposition to army service for several reasons: First, I refuse to tie citizen's rights to army service and the turning of the State of Israel into a Sparta in which one's rights are tied to army service.

IMRA: I am not raising this issue. If this is the standard then what about the voting rights of a 60 year old immigrant from Russia who does not serve?

Mahameed: Not only that. 30% of Israeli youth does not serve in the army. There are also Druze who serve in the army but are treated as Arabs at home.

IMRA: Again, this is not what interests me. My question is how you relate to the statement that "We do not have a common security interest. You go to the army because you live in danger from us. There is no danger for us and we have no reason to serve in the army. Maybe the Israeli Arab politicians face some personal danger since they are identified with the Israeli authorities, but the man in the street -- what danger does he face?”

Mahameed: Let me give you an example. During the Gulf War, most of the Arabs in Israel did not feel that they were in danger. They did not feel that the missiles of Saddam Hussein endangered them because they flew over their heads and did not land by them. And people did not go into the sealed rooms. They went outside to watch the missiles flying in the sky. So if you put it this way then the intention is that if war breaks out between Israel and the Arab states or between Israel and one of the neighboring countries then the Arabs in Israel do not feel threatened by the neighboring Arabs.

IMRA: And you think. . .?

Mahameed: I think that it is basically the right feeling. No one here believes that an Arab army will come here and will attack the Arab cities and villages. I say this in full objectivity and expressing the feelings of people. But in the final analysis, I care very much about every drop of blood of every person. And certainly the blood of Jews in Israel. My blood does not have a different color than Jewish blood just as Jewish blood is no different than mine. And the tears of mothers are the same and I do not differentiate between them. Therefore it could be that there are common interests. In the United States there is consensus between Blacks and Whites. For example look at Leiberman running as vice president with Al Gore. There are Blacks at high levels with shared interests. It is known in mass psychology that there are common interests among groups in the United States. In contrast this is not the case in Israel. And why is this not the case in Israel? -- Because of the very definition of Israel as a Jewish State. The moment that Israel is described as a Jewish State, then there cannot be consensus. There cannot be consensus because the Arab asks "if it is a Jewish State then what am I, who am I, where am I and how do I relate to the State when the State does not recognize me as a citizen with equal rights or as its legitimate son."

IMRA: Do you see the Jewish right of return as an inseparable part of the defining of Israel as a Jewish State? That is to say, can there be equal rights [for Israeli Arabs] and [simultaneously] the right of return for [non-Israeli] Jews to Israel?

Mahameed: Exactly. When the state is, as Barak says, "of everyone", then you cannot have Basic Laws for [only] 80% of the public.

IMRA: You mean the right of return for Jews.

Mahameed: The Law of Return. Or, for example, the Jewish National Fund Law. These do not fall within the context of "state of everyone". The state that we are struggling for. I say in the clearest possible way that I want to reach the stage that we feel that we live here as citizens of the State of Israel in every way. I pray for the day to come that there is no longer "us and them".

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director

IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)

Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645


pager 03-6750750 subscriber 4811

[Note: This represents the classic line to the effect that: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable." In other words, if one has followed the various public statements of this and other Arab MKs on the status of post-1967 Israel (i.e., Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount), one will see that "Israeli" Arab MKs have taken the clear official position that, while post-1967 Israel belongs exclusively to the Arabs and must therefore be made completely Judenrein (cleansed of Jews), pre-1967 Israel (i.e., Israel within the 1949 armistice demarcation lines) does not belong exclusively to the Jews and must therefore be shared with the Arabs, even to the extent of converting the country from a self-described Jewish State into a non-Judaic state "of all of its citizens" which, due to the "Israeli" Arabs' higher birthrate (as well as the contemplated realization of the pan-Arab demand for a "right of return" in favor of those Arab belligerents and their families who fled Israel during its 1948 War of Independence as well as their multigenerational descendants -- now aggregating to some 4,400,000 hostile revanchists and irredentists), would eventually remake pre-1967 Israel into a third state of "Palestine" -- after Jordan (which is overwhelmingly comprised of an Arab population native to former Mandatory Palestine) and post-1967 Israel. So, remember that, while Arab MKs may publicly speak about the immediate creation of a "Palestinian" state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, they are really advocating the eventual existence of three such states.]




Definition of the Oslo Accords as transient, or as a phase in the PLO's "program of stages" for the destruction of Israel, are recurrent themes in the statements of Palestinian leaders. Israeli Arab MK Abd El-Malek Dahamsheh, interviewed this week on PATV [Palestinian Authority Television], fielded a call from a viewer who determined that "our problem with Israel is not a border problem, but an existence problem." He answered: "We exaggerate when we use the term 'peace'... we are talking about Hudna." 'Hudna' is a traditional Islamic term which means strategic cease-fire, as opposed to 'peace'.

Excerpted from: Palestinian Media Watch -- This Week in the Palestinian Media -- 12.9.2000 [September 12, 2000]

By Itamar Marcus, Director, Palestinian Media Watch --

[Note:  The caller was explaining to MK Dahamsheh that the “Palestinian” dispute with Israel was not with the Jewish State’s borders but with its very existence.  In response, the Arab MK took pains to assure his audience that, under no circumstances, does he intend to promote peace between the "Palestinians" and Israel.]



[Arab MKs Abdel Malek Dahamshe and Muhammad Barakeh threaten violence against Israeli police]

(Arutz Sheva News, September 14, 2000) Arab MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe will not retract his promise to "break the arms and legs of any policeman that destroys an Arab house." He expressed confidence this morning that the police would not question him concerning his comments, made during a meeting of the Israeli Arab Tracking Committee yesterday. Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein said this morning that Israeli Arabs should be careful not to "play with fire" and thus "undermine the foundations of the State." Yesterday, Rubenstein approved the opening of a police investigation against MK Muhammad Barakeh, following his call to Israeli Arabs to use violence against policemen to prevent the demolition of illegal houses. A large Israeli Arab demonstration has been called for tomorrow in Um el-Fahm, Israeli's largest Arab city. The rally will emphasize the "connection between Israeli Arabs and the Temple Mount."

[Note:  A rally to emphasize the connection between "Israeli" Arabs and the Temple Mount?!  Does this mean that it would be an affront to the "Israeli" Arabs if Israel gave up its sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the "Palestinian" Arabs???  Perhaps Israel needs to hold on to the Temple Mount so as not to further alienate its Arab citizens.]



(Excerpt from ASSOCIATED PRESS article entitled ISRAELI PROPOSES ALTERNATE ANTHEM dated September 15, 2000)

. . .

Some Israeli Arabs say that national symbols -- including the blue Star of David emblazoned on the flag -- remind them of the tragedy of the Palestinian people who lost their country and fled or were driven into exile during the first Arab-Israeli war. "I welcome her courageous position," said Arab legislator Ahmed Tibi. "Anyone who wants us as full partners and citizens and as part of Israeli society must also address our position, which is that all the symbols and ceremonies of the State of Israel have to be changed."

[Note: MK Tibi was referring to the declaration of former Israel Supreme Court justice and former State Comptroller Miriam Ben-Porat that "HaTikva" (The Hope), Israel's national anthem, be supplemented with an alternate national song devoid of any Jewish content so as to be more palatable to "Israeli" Arabs. However, it should be noted that Tibi speaks, not of supplementing HaTikva and the other symbols of a Jewish State, but rather of abolishing it.]


[Arab MK Azmi Bishara Supports Palestinian Jailed for Israeli Embassy Explosion]

(Al Hayat, London, UK -- September 19, 2000)

Arab Deputy in the Israeli Knesset Dr. Azmi Bishara has visited Samar al-Alami, the Palestinian woman imprisoned on the charge of plotting to blow up the Israeli Embassy in London in 1994, and spent an hour with her on what he called a "solidarity visit." Al-Alami is waiting for her case to come before the Court of Appeals on 24 September.

Bishara said that he wanted to make this visit "because I was convinced, after listening to lawyers and people, that Samar al-Alami carried out a political action from a national Palestinian premise. This is understandable but has nothing to do with the Embassy explosion, which the latter [Israeli government] exploited at the time to incite feelings against the Arab community in London."

[Note: MK Bishara is concerned, not with the murder and mayhem caused by terrorist Samar al-Alami and her conspirators, but rather with the bad "feelings" that Londoners might thereby acquire against the Arab community in London which considers al-Alami to be a genuine heroine.]



Stormy session expected as Knesset resumes [excerpts from article are reprinted]

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa wants the Knesset to honor Arabs who were killed while attempting to murder and maim Jews]



(Jerusalem Post, October 30, 2000) The Knesset goes back into session today after a three-month recess, amid serious political uncertainty and fears that ongoing Jewish-Arab friction will be given further expression in the political arena.

. . .

Arab-Jewish controversy was already touched off Sunday, when United Arab List whip Taleb a-Sanaa filed a request to start today's session with a "moment of silence for the 13 Arab victims who are citizens of Israel and all of the victims of the Al-Aksa Intifada." Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg rejected the request after holding consultations, citing "no precedent for that type of moment." ...

[Note: Virtually all of the Arab "victims" of the Al-Aksa Intifada were killed while trying to murder and maim the Jewish citizens of Israel.]



Raising morale

On the Sidelines: By Liat Collins

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa condemns proposal for nationwide campaign to display the Israeli flag as "infuriating" and too "controversial"]


(Jerusalem Post, October 30, 2000) If we can't wave our worries goodbye, we can at least wave them about. The Jewish Agency has started a campaign to get the public to fly the flag wherever possible. Under the slogan "Zionism will Win," the agency hopes to raise flagging morale by, well, flagging.

Thousands of pennants and stickers are being distributed to the public at major junctions and the JA has asked local authorities, particularly in the south, to fly the national flag on public buildings and central sites.

"We must all act to strengthen Israel as a Jewish, democratic country which gives equal rights to all citizens and acts towards co-existence, dialogue, and mutual respect regarding religion and traditions, while condemning all expressions of violence," said Jewish Agency head Sallai Meridor.

Nonetheless, the flag suggestion did not go down well in the Arab sector, where the "Blue-and-White" made some see red. Arab MKs immediately condemned the Agency's effort, thus proving that we are still flagpoles apart.

United Arab List faction head Taleb a-Sanaa called the campaign an "infuriating attempt to stage an Independence Day," saying it was regrettable that such a "controversial and superfluous" campaign was launched at so tense a time.

It was the Independence Day reference which brought to mind another proposal to raise morale. For the state's 50th birthday (which also upset some in the Arab sector), the Council for a Beautiful Israel came up with a blooming good way of celebrating the jubilee: calling on the public to plant window boxes of flowers.

Why shouldn't the campaign be revived? Who can argue with flower power?

It's a brilliant, simple idea. Those who can afford it can buy plants and boxes at local nurseries - making it good for business. Those without the cash can use old plastic bottles and a few freely available geraniums. It doesn't widen differences between haves and have-nots, Sephardim and Ashkenazim, right and left, or religious and secular. And although it might not change the country's image in the eyes of the world press, it would definitely make the country look better for those who live in it.

How much pleasanter it would be to look out of the window and see flowers smiling back? And while you can't expect Arab citizens to jump at the chance of flying a Star of David, it would be hard for anyone to find a reason to reject a noble chrysanthemum.

Maybe we could all turn over a leaf or two, sow the seeds of true peace, and watch everything coming up roses.

[Note: MK a-Sanaa criticizes the Jewish Agency's proposal to encourage the widespread display of Israel's flag as an "infuriating attempt to stage an Independence Day" precisely because he and his Arab colleagues consider the annual Israel Independence Day celebrations -- during which the display of Israel's flag by the government and its Jewish citizenry is both prominent and pervasive -- to be an annual provocation against Israel's Arab population (who insist on commemorating this same day as the Nakba, usually translated as The Catastrophe or The Disaster but being closer in emotional import to the Shoah/Holocaust). Accordingly, the Jewish Agency's proposal to encourage the widespread interim display of Israel's flag, a national symbol which evokes thoughts of Israel Independence Day, is viewed by the Arab sector -- which has never accepted the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish State -- as a racist provocation.]



[MK Ahmed Tibi states that Prime Minister Ehud Barak is not "our partner"]

(Arutz Sheva, October 30, 2000) The Knesset's winter session began this afternoon with a political statement by Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak expressed confidence that Israel would "emerge stronger" from the present difficult situation in which it finds itself. "The peace will come," Barak said, "but not at any price." The Prime Minister said that if [U.S. President William] Clinton invites him for another summit meeting to discuss an end to the hostilities with [PLO Chairman] Arafat, he will respond favorably. His speech was widely interrupted by the Arab MKs, and sometimes even by Likud MKs. After Barak reviewed the events of the past months, he said, "We now see that we apparently do not have a partner for peace on the other side, for the present, as they have consciously chosen the way of violence;" Arab MK Ahmed Tibi yelled out, "Neither are you our partner."

[Note: Perhaps MK Tibi intended to say that Ehud Barak is not "Arafat's partner" but his actual statement -- that Ehud Barak is not "our partner" -- betrays his true feelings, namely, that he considers the Arab citizens of Israel -- "Israeli" Arabs -- to be allied with Yasser Arafat and the PLO rather than with the State of Israel]



A-G orders MK Barakei's Bir Zeit remarks examined

[MK Mohammed Barakei exhorts "Israeli" Arabs to join the new Intifada]



(Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2000) Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein said Sunday he has ordered officials to examine whether [Arab] MK Mohammed Barakei (Hadash) [--Hadash is also known as the Communist Party--] violated the law in a strident speech Saturday at Bir Zeit University [in PLO-controlled Ramallah], at which he expressed support for the Palestinian uprising.

The Justice Ministry will examine whether Barakei urged Israeli Arabs to join the Palestinian intifada, as his words were translated by Israeli sources, or whether he urged them to support it, as he claims, Rubinstein said.

Barakei said Sunday that his comments had not been translated properly, and he had clearly called for a "public, non-violent struggle." The comments were taped, he said, adding that there had been an attempt to use his remarks out of context.

He was quoted as saying that Israeli Arabs in the Galilee, Negev, and Triangle "have a mission not only of solidarity with our Palestinian people and the intifada" but should also "take part in the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation and independence." Barakei was a panelist at a university gathering, together with Hamas, Fatah, and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine officials.

Whatever course of action Barakei encouraged, there is no question that the intifada he referred to is a violent phenomenon, said Rubinstein.

"Everyone knows what the intifada is in our context," he told Army Radio. "The intifada is rocks and firebombs and all kinds of violence."

In an interview with Israel Radio, Rubinstein added that Barakei spoke in the presence of Tanzim leader Marwan "Barghouti and Hamas. It wasn't exactly a gathering of peace advocates."

He said he had ordered officials in his office and the State Attorney's Office to examine whether Barakei broke the law during his speech, "because we are trying with the means at our disposal to struggle against verbal violence and words which can lead to violent actions. We will examine [what Barakei said] because the level of strident rhetoric is exceeding acceptable levels."

Rubinstein rejected charges by Arab MKs that he ignores inflammatory rhetoric by Jews while singling out Arabs for investigation. "These charges are not worthy of a response," he said. "We make no distinctions when it comes to those who incite, persecute, and cause injury. We consider each case on its own merits. I do not have to justify myself before anyone, but it should be remembered that when the October riots broke out, the state attorney and I gave the most explicit orders to apply the law in a completely non-discriminatory way regarding arrests and prosecution, without taking into considerations the differences [i.e., that Jewish riots were rare and solely in retaliation against prior Arab violence] that one can find between Arab and Jewish rioters."

[Jewish] MK Tamar Gozansky (Hadash) defended Barakei's comments and attacked Rubinstein for declining to prosecute right-wing MKs for their comments or any of the rabbis who incited against prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. "Barakei is being put on trial for political opinions," she said.

MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party) filed a complaint against Barakei with the Knesset Ethics Committee. He called for Barakei to be immediately expelled from the Knesset, saying that he is a "traitor."

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman said that Barakei and other Arab MKs like him should be stripped of their citizenship and deported for "cooperating with Israel's enemies" and "openly operating to bring about the destruction of Israel."

Knesset Law Committee chairman MK Amnon Rubinstein (Meretz) said that Arab MKs have become spokesmen for the Palestinian Authority and the Hizbullah. "I don't think that there is any parliament in the world that would agree to its members supporting those who are rebelling against the country they represent," Rubinstein said in an interview with Israel Radio.

Gozansky emphasized that her party's struggle in solidarity with the Palestinians is political. She noted that her party had condemned the violence against Israeli targets in Nazareth. However, she also said her party also "supports the right of the Palestinians to revolt."

MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) said the political arena has not yet understood that, in their extreme opinions that negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish State, the Arab MKs represent most of the Israeli Arabs.

However, MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) said he believes that the Arab MKs are much more extreme than their constituency, which wants to "truly live in peace and tranquility with us."

Barakei is already facing indictment for allegedly attacking and insulting a policeman at a 1999 farmers' demonstration.

(c) 2000 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: MK Barakei believes that merely "supporting", rather than "joining", those who murder and maim Jews should be acceptable to Israel's polity. Unfortunately, since he was never stripped of his parliamentary immunity and then arrested for his incitement to violence -- a crime under Israeli law -- his assessment is correct.]


 THE JERUSALEM REPORT (November 20, 2000)

Cover Story: Israel Embattled

The Arafat Enigma, by Isabel Kershner [excerpts from article are reprinted]

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara parrots the PLO's "explanation" for the continued shooting from Arab Beit Jala into Jewish Giloh, namely, that Israel has ordered its "Arab collaborators" to attack Giloh in order to create a pretext for Israel to annex Beit Jala]

Israel assumes that the firing from Beit Jala was intended to attract heavy Israeli retaliation against the Christian [Arab] town and nearby Bethlehem, in order to raise the ire of the Christian world. This while the PLO awaited the United Nations' response to its request for international protection for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian spokespeople have been hard put to explain the continued shooting. Insiders say everyone, from the residents of Beit Jala and El-Bireh to Marwan Barghouti and West Bank security chief Jibril Rajub himself, are "mad at the shooters." One day, reports circulated in the Palestinian media claiming that the source of the gunfire was "suspicious" -- insinuating that collaborators with Israel were responsible.

Azmi Bishara, an Israeli Knesset member of the Balad party and a prominent intellectual on the Palestinian scene, told The Jerusalem Report on October 24 that, while he hadn't checked into those allegations, they sounded "plausible" to him. Israel has responded to the gunfire from Beit Jala with shellfire and rockets, following warnings to local residents to evacuate. According to Bishara, the part of Beit Jala being targeted sits in the Jerusalem-Gush Etzion corridor that Israel envisages annexing under an separation plan. The recent action may be designed, Bishara suggested, to make the people there understand "they have to either get out or be annexed."

[Note: "Balad", the name of Bishara's party, is Arabic for "Country" and is a veiled reference to the Country of "Palestine" that Israel "usurped" in 1948]



IMRA interviewed United Arab List MK Hashem Mahameed, in Hebrew, on 29 November 2000 [excerpts of which are reprinted below]:

IMRA: I heard on Channel Two Television last night that Yasser Arafat's office approached some Arab MKs to ask them to support Ehud Barak in the vote in the Knesset [as the first parliamentary step towards the dissolution of the government and the scheduling of new elections for the Prime Minister and the Knesset in reaction to Barak's failure to crush the "Palestinian"-and-"Israeli" Arab jihad against Israel which erupted on Rosh HaShana of 2000]. Is there any truth to it?

Mahameed: Absolutely nothing. Totally baseless. No one contacted me. Not Arafat and not any staffers. If someone did contact some MKs then certainly it was not on the level of Yasser Arafat or even Abu Mazen. I can tell you absolutely that there was no request or contact between any Palestinian official and any Arab MKs.

. . .

IMRA: There are those who say that Barak should not be able to negotiate until after the elections while others warn that the danger of war increases with every month that passes without an agreement. Would you say that a window of the months leading up to the elections could be critical in terms of the increased danger of regional war?

Mahameed: I do not think so. I do not think that there is a danger of regional war. I do not think that there is anyone who wants war. Not Egypt. And you know that there is no war without Egypt. Hosni Mubarak does not want war. He declares that Egypt lost hundreds of thousand in wars and he does not want to lose more. He says that people do not know what war is and he does. Look, there is legislation moving through the Knesset to prevent Barak from making any agreement with concessions before the elections. This was a preliminary reading but things can run quickly through this Knesset. Right now this Knesset is likely to pass anything that is proposed. Right now there is a majority in the Knesset that could vote to annex Damascus and Cairo. This is a majority that can do anything.

[Note: According to MK Mahameed -- although Israel is the victim of a vicious jihad launched by "Palestinian" Arabs, aided and abetted by "Israeli" Arabs, and supported by the entire Arab and Muslim worlds -- Israel's Knesset represents the main danger to regional peace.]



(Arutz Sheva, December 17, 2000) Muhammad Dahlan, PA security chief in Gaza, visited the Israeli Arab city of Taibe yesterday, with the permission of the Israeli authorities. He delivered a speech in which he said that the Palestinian nation will not surrender, and afterwards returned to his home in Gaza. One of the audience was MK Ahmed Tibi, who greeted him warmly, and said, "Israeli Arabs support the heroic Palestinian intifada against the conquest. It is an obligation to fight against the conqueror." Dahlan is responsible for many of the past weeks' terrorist attacks in Gush Katif, including the bombing of the Kfar Darom school bus in which two teachers were killed and three children lost limbs.

[Note: Arab MK Ahmed Tibi not only publicly supports the "Palestinian" war against Israel, but he also declares that participation in this war is obligatory]


THE JERUSALEM REPORT (February 12, 2001)

[Arab MK Tawfik Khatib justifies the murder of Arabs who are alleged to have assisted Israel in fighting against terrorism]

The Back Page: Should Israel take steps to save Palestinian collaborators from execution?

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, an Israeli lawyer representing Palestinian collaborators, debates Tawfik Khatib, a member of Knesset for the United Arab List

Two Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel have been executed by Palestinian security forces after summary trials. Another three have been sentenced to death, two to life in prison with hard labor, and 35 more are in PA hands but have not yet been tried.

Dear Knesset Member Khatib,

Responsibility for the brutal judicial murders of Alam Bani-Oudeh and Majdi Mukawi does not rest with the Palestinian Authority alone. Although the Shin Bet has refused to publicly acknowledge that the pair were indeed its agents, working within the PA to assisting Israel to assassinate terrorist leaders, it is clear by whom they were really employed. In early December, after Bani-Oudeh was sentenced to death, I sent an urgent letter to Shin Bet head Avi Dichter demanding that he act to save the life of his agent. Needless to say, the Shin Bet never answered and Dichter continued to maintain that he was not a Shin Bet operative. Israel maintained its silence even as he was blindfolded and shot.

Aside from moral considerations, this policy of abandoning non-Jewish operatives when they are captured by the PA cannot help but backfire on Israel and, in the end, weaken its security. Considering that Israel has now publicly acknowledged that it is assassinating individuals involved in terrorism within the PA, what could possibly be the point of not helping a captured operative who was engaged in a Shin Bet campaign to eradicate terror?

As the condemned Bani-Oudeh sat in a Nablus jail cell, high-level negotiations between Israel and the PA were conducted in Israel, Gaza, Washington, Egypt and Europe. The heads of the Israeli security services repeatedly sat down with their Palestinian counterparts. The fate of Bani-Oudeh, however, was never raised.

Even if the Shin Bet saw no practical means of freeing him by force, it could have contacted international human rights organizations and governments and urged them to intervene. Would it have been too difficult for Israel to contact, for example, Amnesty International about his pending execution? If Bani-Oudeh had been a Jewish operative would Israel have simply turned its back on him?

By abandoning its captured agents, the Shin Bet is assisting Israel's enemies to deter other potential collaborators from agreeing to work against the terrorist groups. The very clear message is that if you risk your life for Israel and are taken prisoner, you are on your own.

The word is swiftly spreading that the Shin Bet can't be trusted. It's time the government rethought its policy of abandoning operatives on the battlefield. -- Nitsana Darshan-Leitner


Dear Ms. Darshan-Leitner,

Under the Israeli occupation, too many phenomena of corruption occur in Palestinian society, such as the increasing number of collaborators who endanger the Palestinian people and their leaders. Although the form of the execution was ugly and I would have been happier had the two been put in jail forever, the reality is that they were tried and sentenced to death.

Israel has no legitimate right to interfere. We should not forget that it was Israel that began with the policy of executions. Furthermore, executions have been, and continue to be, a part of the process of establishing a state, part of the struggle of a nation toward independence.

First of all, Israel must stop killing and executing Palestinians instead of complaining about others. Secondly, disapproval of the Palestinian Authority must be voiced by the Palestinian people alone, and not by outside bodies or organizations. -- Knesset Member Tawfik Khatib


Mr. Khatib,

That the Palestinians are struggling for independence is no excuse for the brutal policy of executing accused Israeli operatives, without affording them the most basic measures of due process and fair trial. These defendants, who are charged with capital offenses, are tried before kangaroo tribunals in hearings that often last less than two hours.

In the majority of cases, the terrorist groups such as Hamas, Fatah Tanzim and Islamic Jihad let it be known that any attorney seeking to represent the accused will be putting his own life in danger. In this intimidating atmosphere, it is no wonder that lawyers within the PA are refusing to defend these suspects. Moreover, no witnesses will ever dare to come forward and speak on the defendants' behalf. The family of Bani-Oudeh was so frightened of retaliations that they published announcements in all of the East Jerusalem and Palestinian newspapers denouncing and condemning him even before his trial began.

Once sentenced to death, there is no appeal, and the two victims were taken out and riddled with bullets before a howling mob.

There can be no justification, legal or political, for the summary execution of those accused of aiding Israel, without being given a fair opportunity to establish their innocence or argue for leniency, or appeal. Before the Palestinians can hope to be viewed by the democratic world as worthy of recognition as an independent nation, they must rise above the image of the outlaw gangs and bloodthirsty mob that the recent televised executions has etched on the international consciousness. --Nitsana Darshan-Leitner


Ms. Darshan-Leitner,

As you know from history, more than one country has carried out executions as part of its struggle for freedom, and I am speaking about countries considered democracies, like France and Israel. Those executions were brutal also and did not afford the suspects an opportunity for fair trials.

So when drawing comparisons between actions or nations, one must be attentive to the period being spoken about. The Palestinians are establishing their state and their community through violence, killing and struggle, trying desperately to rid themselves of the Israeli conquest, while confronted with the presence of thousands of collaborators in their midst. Without giving legitimacy to summary executions, now or in the past, we must be more objective when dealing with this very complex issue. -- Tawfik Khatib



[Arab MKs escalate their political war against Israel by resorting to violence against Jewish MKs]

(Arutz Sheva, February 21, 2001) The Knesset Interior Committee attempted to hold a session today, at the request of MK Michael Kleiner (Herut), but was unsuccessful. Kleiner wished to raise a proposal that policemen appear in disguise - to ensure their safety - when testifying before the Orr Commission of Inquiry regarding the Israeli Arab riots of last year, in which 13 Arabs were killed in clashes with the police [after rioters, using rocks, iron bars, firebombs and guns, had severed major transportation routes connecting northern Israel with the rest of the country, had violently assaulted passing Jewish motorists and destroyed their vehicles, and had even attacked neighboring Jewish towns as well as desecrated Jewish holy sites, such as the graves of Second Temple era Jewish sages]. The Orr Commission's sessions were cut off after only an hour today, because of lack of agreement on this issue. It was later decided that they will testify tomorrow from behind a screen.

At one point in today's Knesset committee session, the chairman asked Arab MK Abdel Malek Dahamsha to exit the hall - and the other Arab MKs, screaming and cursing, refused to allow the Knesset orderlies to remove him. Arab MK Muhammed Kena'an even lifted a chair to throw at MK Amnon Cohen of Shas, and [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi threatened to hit Likud MK Ze'ev Boim. MK Yigal Bibi (NRP) said afterwards, "The intifada has arrived in the Knesset. Today it was a chair, tomorrow it will be rocks! The Knesset Ethics Committee must convene immediately regarding this wild outburst, which had cursing, chair-throwing, and almost punches. [Arab] MK Kena'an wanted to hit another Knesset Member, and two people were needed to hold him back!"

[Note: MK Kleiner's proposal to protect testifying police officers was prompted by the fact that "Israeli" Arab relatives of one of the slain rioters, who were attending the first session of the Commission on February 19, 2001, physically assaulted a testifying police officer, while other officers, who were waiting outside of the hearing room for their turn to testify, also came under attack from "Israeli" Arab bystanders.]


Date: 1 March 2001

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi falsely charges 3 Jews with attacking him, and then perjures himself in Court testimony]

By Moshe Reinfeld, Ha'aretz Correspondent

Jerusalem Magistrates Court yesterday acquitted three activists from the Kahane movement, Noam Federman, Benzion Gopstein and Itamar Ben-Gvir, of assaulting MK Ahmed Tibi during Tibi's trial for allegedly attacking a Border Police officer.

Judge Noam Solberg ruled that by the charge sheet the three were not guilty, and in his opinion Tibi's testimony in the trial against the three was not truthful.

The incident occurred on February 3 1999. The charge sheet said that during Tibi's trial for allegedly assaulting the policeman, two of the Kahanists attacked Tibi and his entourage during the court session, injuring one of Tibi's bodyguards in the scuffle. [According to the charge sheet:] The third, Ben-Gvir, waited outside, where he assaulted the MK and later told a TV crew that "we took care of him in the best Kahane tradition."

The judge said after hearing the testimony and watching two sets of tapes of the incident, he found no proof that Tibi was directly touched; and his bodyguard was not injured. He said had the indictment charged the Kahane activists with "brawling" he might have convicted them. As for Ben-Gvir's comment, which ended up on the charge sheet as "supporting a terrorist organization," the judge dismissed it as "boasting".



(Arutz Sheva, March 8, 2001) Minister without Portfolio Salah Tarif, a Labor party [Druze Arab] MK, who today became the first non-Jew to serve as a minister in an Israeli government, has been cited for several anti-Israel comments. A few weeks ago, he granted an interview to Palestinian television in which he called the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel "captives"; he said that Sharon had "defiled the Al-Aksa Mosque with his visit [to the Temple Mount -- the holiest site in Judaism]"; and said that Druze citizens should not have to serve in the army. Minister Tarif also sent good wishes to Hamas terrorist chief Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and blessed his interviewers that they should "reach Jerusalem, with the help of Allah." Palestinian Media Watch supplied tape recordings of the interview to Arutz Sheva.

[Note: Based upon its alliance with the Jewish community during Israel's War of Independence, the Druze Arab community (except for that portion of the community which lives in the Golan Heights and has pledged its allegiance to Syria) is subject to universal military conscription. By seeking to disrupt this arrangement among his people and by showering praise and encouragement upon Hamas, Minister Tarif establishes that even a traitor can receive a position in Israel's government.]


Peres blamed for Ramallah blockade

[Arab MKs (and their Jewish collaborators) demonstrate against blockade of Ramallah instituted by Israel in order to capture a terrorist cell planning more attacks against Jews]


(Jerusalem Post, March 15, 2001) Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is to blame for the hardship caused by the blockade on Ramallah, Arab MKs and residents of the city charged Wednesday in a demonstration against the closure held at the Kalandia junction, on the road from Jerusalem to Ramallah.

MKs from Hadash [the mixed Jewish and Arab Communist Party], the United Arab List, the Arab Movement for Renewal, and Meretz [an extreme-Left Jewish political party] came to the junction to witness the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way in and out from Ramallah and show solidarity with residents inconvenienced by the blockade.

The MKs vowed to fight the blockade in the Knesset, where Hadash filed a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon's new government, to be heard on Monday. Motorists honked their horns in their own show of no-confidence and got out of their cars to protest against the policy.

"Peres has been reduced to a tool in the hand of Sharon, serving his master," United Arab List MK Taleb a-Sanaa said. "The siege on Ramallah has become part of his 'New Middle East' because of his unholy alliance with Sharon and his craving to control the foreign ministry."

Hadash leader Mohammed Barakei added that "Peres's role in the government evidently is to provide a fig leaf for the crimes of Sharon."

MK Issam Makhoul (Hadash) said that he had a great respect for Peres until he "sold out the Palestinian people and abandoned his career of peacemaking for his seat."

"From Sharon we expected a siege, because he has had a career of sieges since the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla," Makhoul said. "But from Peres we expected better. Now that he is marketing Sharon, I just feel mercy for him. He will soon find out that the more you try to choke the Palestinians, the more this government will choke itself."

Peres did not fare any better with Ramallah residents who blamed Peres for their food shortage and their three-hour commutes between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

"Peres is worse than Sharon because he is enforcing a policy he doesn't even believe in," Mohammed, a salesman from Ramallah, said as an ambulance struggled to squeeze through the traffic. "We dream of peace but it does not help because when we wake up there is still no bread."

Khalid Ayad, a banker in Ramallah's Bank of Jordan who lives adjacent to Jerusalem in Abu Dis, said he travels three hours daily to work and three hours back in a commute that took twenty minutes prior to the current wave of violence. If he misses work, he said, he is docked the salary he needs to provide food for his three infant daughters.

Ayad said he has given up hope in any Israeli politicians and that "Peres, Sharon, and [former prime minister Yitzhak] Shamir are all the same."

Peres's spokesman, Yoram Dori, responded that the foreign minister was following a policy, agreed to by the entire government, which was instituted to prevent a terrorist cell from perpetrating a massive terror attack inside the country.

"The decision reflects the government's policy that residents of the territories should be able to live a normal life, as long as it doesn't threaten the lives of the Israeli people," Dori said.

Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On said the blockade was unacceptable and rejected the government's excuse of security concerns, saying "we need to do everything possible to stop terror without causing such suffering."

"We needed to see it with our own eyes to understand how horrible the situation really is," Gal-On added.

When asked what solution he recommends, Barakei said that "the only solution is to end the inhumane occupation and enforce a set border between two separate states at the pre-1967 dividing line."

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: As a result of the blockade, Israel subsequently captured 3 members of the Ramallah-based terrorist cell which has planned several future attacks against Jews, including a major car bombing campaign in Jerusalem. The captured terrorists were also members of Force 17, Yasser Arafat's personal guard, as well as Fatah, Arafat's faction of the PLO. The cell itself was directed by Mahmoud Damra, the Ramallah commander of Force 17, and represents a collaborative effort among Fatah, Force 17, Tanzim and Hamas. Cell members had previously murdered 8 -- and maimed 20 -- Jews by means of road-side ambushes along the Modiin-Jerusalem highway and elsewhere. For more details, please see The Jerusalem Post of March 16, 2001.]



[Arab MK Dahamshe disrupts Knesset committee meeting to protest statement that Temple Mount is holy to Jews]

(Arutz Sheva, March 22, 2001) . . . In a related incident yesterday, Arab MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe caused a major disturbance during the Knesset Education Committee session on the Waqf desecration of the Temple Mount. Dahamshe, not a committee member, interrupted the session several times in protest over the statement that the Temple Mount is holy to the Jews. Finally, Chairman Zevulun Orlev (NRP) ordered the ushers to remove him from the room. Dahamshe raucously refused to leave; and only after Orlev said that he could return a few minutes later did he agree to go.



[Arab MK Issam Makhoul compares Israel to Nazi Germany]

In & Around: Quote - Unquote

"An illogical act, which recalls the actions of the Nazis." Knesset Member Issam Makhoul (Hadash), lashing out against West Bank closures and comparing the Israeli army's early March blockade of Ramallah to Nazi concentration camps.

[Note: It will be recalled that the referenced closures and the Ramallah blockade were, and are, defensive measures which were instituted by Israel in response to deadly attacks against Jews emanating from virtually all "Palestinian" Arab towns in Judea and Samaria, including Ramallah, since late September 2000.]



(Arutz Sheva, April 16, 2001) Arab MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe took an original stance on last night's Israeli attack of the Syrian [radar] installation [inside Lebanon in retaliation for the increasing Syria-backed, Lebanon-based Hizbullah attacks against Israel]. He sent a fax this morning to Syrian President Bashar Assad condemning the Israeli attack and expressing sorrow over the deaths of the three Syrian soldiers. "I would like to express my condolences over the Government of Israel's criminal attack, which is a declaration of war not only on the Palestinians but also on the Syrians," wrote MK Dahamshe.

MKs Rabbi Chaim Druckman (National Religious Party) and Tzvi Hendel (National Union) sharply condemned Dahamshe; Rabbi Druckman said that the Arab MK represents the enemy and that his place is not in the Knesset, but in the Syrian parliament. "This is a fifth column in the Knesset who is abusing Israel's freedom of expression and democracy to harm it," Rabbi Druckman said. He plans to submit a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee.

MK Yossi Sarid (Meretz) said that Dahamshe's letter to Assad is "another one of the mistakes that the Arab MKs have made." MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) called for the removal of Dahamshe's parliamentary immunity, saying he violated his oath to faithfully serve the State of Israel. Kleiner said that Dahamshe should be charged with interfering with Israel's foreign policy - a crime that is punishable by a seven-year prison sentence.



Dahamshe's condolence letter to Assad sparks furor in Knesset

[Arab MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe accuses Israel of a "criminal attack", and Arab MK Mohammed Barakei demands that Prime Minister Sharon "stand trial for war crimes"]



(Jerusalem Post, April 17, 2001) United Arab List leader MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe touched off fierce reactions in the Knesset Monday when he sent Syrian President Bashar Assad a letter of condolence over the deaths of three Syrian soldiers in the attack on Syrian targets.

In the letter, he called the Israeli move a "criminal attack" that amounts to a declaration of war not only on the Palestinians, but also on the Syrians. He said the Syrians are not responsible for Hizbullah's activities, and the attack will only worsen the violence.

Otherwise, the attack was met with general support in the political arena, including from doves on the Left, with the exception of the comments made by Arab MKs, whose reactions drew condemnations from the Right.

Hadash leader Mohammed Barakei said the killing of Syrian soldiers again uncovers the ugly face of the "warmonger" Sharon. He also caused a stir when he said that Sharon's war crimes are no less severe than those committed by ousted Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. He called for Sharon to stand trial for war crimes, and sent a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee asking them to strip Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of his award for cooperating with Sharon.

Likud MK Ze'ev Boim and Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev attacked Barakei for his remarks during a debate in the Knesset, calling him an inciter and terrorist.

Likud MK Yisrael Katz said Dahamshe's behavior shows why the Knesset needs to pass a law that would enable it to disallow membership to MKs who voice support for terror organizations or enemy countries. He said Dahamshe has never once offered condolences to Israel for the loss of its soldiers.

MK Zvi Hendel (National Union) asked Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg to oust Dahamshe from the Knesset presidium of factions for his "letter of incitement." Deputy Infrastructure Minister Naomi Blumenthal (Likud) said she intends to ask Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein to examine whether a person who "engages in wild incitement" against Israel can remain in the Knesset.

Former justice minister Yossi Beilin, who was a major proponent of an exit from Lebanon, said he supported the attack because Israel implemented UN Security Council Resolution 425 that included a call for the Lebanese Army to deploy to the border with Israel.

Beilin said that since Syria has prevented the Lebanese Army from reaching the border, it is responsible for recent Hizbullah attacks. He said the attack would send a message that the situation would not be tolerated any longer.

Meretz MK Ran Cohen said the attack was justified, but if he had been a cabinet member, he would have voted against it, out of concern it would cause the Hizbullah to increase its violence. Cohen said the attack seemed justified since the Syrians have not prevented the Hizbullah from attacking at Mount Dov.

Meretz leader Yossi Sarid did not condemn the attack per se, and in effect said that he did not support Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carrying it out because of his history of actions in Lebanon. He warned that such actions must be thought through thoroughly and carefully while taking into consideration Lebanese public opinion. He said he did not have faith in the government to do so.

He also noted that Israel has fulfilled its part of Resolution 425 in Lebanon and the withdrawal was even verified by the UN. Syria, which was supposed to fulfill the role of a restrainer, has not fulfilled its role, he added.

Minister Dan Naveh, the government liaison to the Knesset, said the attack was justified, since Israel has fulfilled its part of Resolution 425, and nevertheless the violations and attacks by Hizbullah continue.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post


Israeli Arab MKs express hatred for Israel despite Sharon's efforts to promote reconciliation with Israel's Arab citizens

By Avraham Tal

(Ha'aretz, April 19, 2001) After having attained notoriety in the past for his extreme pronouncements against the State of Israel, MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe set a new record this week in a letter of condolence he sent to Syria's President following the deaths of three Syrian army soldiers in an Israel Air Force attack. Alluding to the "abominable attack by Israel's fascist government against Syrian targets in Lebanon", the letter called for "Arab unification in order to bring an end to Israel's radical actions." Though the off-putting contents and formulations in this letter received a suitable measure of attention, the fact that the letter was sent from "Nazareth, Palestine" [despite the fact that Nazareth lies within pre-1967 Israel] might have escaped public notice. Too impatient to wait for the state which he represents in the Knesset to be destroyed, Dehamshe wrote to Syria's President from a virtual Palestinian state.

Dehamshe wasn't a lone voice this week. There was a chorus from the Palestinian Knesset members (that's the term they use to identify themselves - Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel, which they want to turn into a binational state). The runner-up for abject, contemptible commentary was Hadash whip MK Mohammed Barakeh, who called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a war criminal. Barakeh declared that Sharon should be, "brought to trial for crimes against humanity and against the Palestinian people;" and he sent a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, demanding that Shimon Peres' award be revoked.

MK Talab A Sana (United Arab List) provided justification for Dehamshe's letter. Likewise, MK Ahmed Tibi (Ta'al) declared that, "it's only natural to commiserate with the Syrian people." Appearing on a television interview, MK Azmi Bishara (Balad) refused to utter a word to console the family of Staff Sergeant Elad Litvak, the IDF soldier who was killed.

While Dehamshe and his Knesset colleagues heighten their rhetoric, intensifying expressions of hatred of Israel as a Jewish State, the government has made an explicit effort to accommodate the country's Arab minority. This effort consists of two parts. First, there is recognition (which goes so far as to express atonement for sins) of discrimination against the state's Arab minority during the first five decades of Israel's existence; and second, plans are being formulated to rectify these wrongs, insofar as they can be corrected by the government. The last government prepared a four billion shekel, four- to five- year-plan for the development of the Arab sector. A relatively small sum was allocated in the state's 2001 budget to implement this program; with discussion ensuing about revisions in this state budget, efforts are being made to allocate one billion shekels for the plan's undertaking in 2001, despite the severe limitations stemming from the country's economic-security situation. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went the extra mile to improve the atmosphere between Arab citizens of the state and the government. He fulfilled his vow to appoint a non-Jewish minister. In the first phase of his term, he has met with Druze, Arab and Bedouin delegates, promising to bring a halt to land appropriations, discussing the establishment of an Arab city, and broaching the possibility of preparing another development program, one which would supplement the plan that is supposed to get under way this year.

As the government goes out of its way to promote reconciliation with Israel's Arab citizens, their Knesset representatives vie with one another to articulate contempt for Israel. It would appear that the Arab public operates on two levels. Politically, Arab Knesset members exploit Israel's democracy in order to prepare the ground conceptually for Israel's annihilation as a Jewish-Zionist state. On the second level, leaders of the Arab establishment (heads of local councils, and members of the Supreme Monitoring Committee) exploit the public's feeling of unease regarding past discrimination in order to demand and wrest a surfeit of benefits for their sector.

This dissonance won't escape the notice of the Jewish public. Should Arab citizens continue to elect politicians like Dehamshe, Bishara, and Tibi to be their delegates, and should Arab citizens fail to take exception to the despicable comments which these politicians unleash between election seasons, chances for coexistence will wither and vanish. Arab citizens of the state would have no cause for wonder should increasing numbers of Jews in Israel come to support separation plans (we are here, and they are there), plans that would also apply to residents of Umm al Fahm, Tira, Bara al Garbiyeh and others [i.e., Arab towns within pre-1967 Israel].


Interview: Spokesman for [Arab] MK Dehamshe - "Nazareth, Palestine" address

24 April 2001, Dr. Aaron Lerner

IMRA interviewed Abed al-Razak Hassan, spokesperson for Israeli Arab MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe, in Hebrew on April 19:

IMRA: I saw Avraham Tal's article in Ha'aretz this morning and I wanted to verify that MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe sent a letter this week to Syria's President showing the address as being from "Nazareth, Palestine".

Hassan: Yes.

IMRA: Then what is MK Dehamshe trying to say? That Nazareth is not inside Israel?

Hassan: I will explain this matter to you. The Syrians in any case do not recognize the State of Israel.

IMRA: But Dehamshe does?

Hassan: Wait a moment. So they do not recognize Israel. So in any case, if he wrote "Israel" the guys would not recognize or know it. What they recognize is Palestine. Palestine of 1948 and Palestine of 1967.

IMRA: I just checked the official Internet site of the Syrians and they use the term "Israel". So they know exactly what Israel is and where it is located. They even mention it explicitly on their own website.

Hassan: Of course they do. But how do you define the Arabs living inside the State of Israel.

IMRA: But MK Dehamshe was not defining the Arabs in Israel, he was defining Nazareth in his letter.

Hassan: Yes. Where is Nazareth. Politicians are getting insistent on this. But this is only a technical matter. And in order for them to know where we come from -- where we are located . . .

IMRA: Wait a moment. If the reason that he wrote Palestine instead of Israel is so that they will know where Nazareth is then this is not a problem. Syrian's own official website mentions Israel. They know exactly where Israel is.

Hassan: Let us not forget that a large community in the Arab world does not recognize Israel. They do not know where Nazareth is located in Israel.

IMRA: Then even more so. If MK Dehamshe had written Nazareth Israel it would have taught them that Nazareth was inside Israel.

Hassan: I am not coming as an educator. It is a whole People. We are defining the place we live in. The letter was sent from Nazareth on Knesset stationary. The emblem of the State of Israel and the word "Knesset" appears on the stationary. There was therefore no denial that we live inside the State of Israel.

IMRA: Or that Nazareth is inside the State of Israel?

Hassan: Yes.

IMRA: So let me get this straight - you are saying that someone reading the letter might not know that Nazareth is inside Israel?

Hassan: He simply would not know.

My dear friend. This is a complicated matter. We are talking about a point of conflict in the Middle East that has no match to it in the entire world.

We live complicate lives. Our identities are complicated. We are Arabs of Israel. We are Palestinians. We are part of the Palestinian People. And yet, on the other hand, we carry Israeli identity cards. We do not deny this fact. We live between these two definitions. I do not know what the problem is in writing "Palestine".

IMRA: Because it is not the official address of Nazareth. Nazareth is located inside a country that has a name. Israel.

Hassan: I am explaining to you. People do not recognize the State of Israel.

IMRA: Let me understand this. Now these people, if they get a letter that says Israel they will know where it is from. But you do not want to disturb them by writing the word "Israel" in the address? That MK Dehamshe does not want to upset the Syrians by noting that he lives in Israel.

Hassan: They know he lives in Israel.

IMRA: Then if they know that he lives in Israel then why not write "Nazareth Israel"?

Hassan: They know where Israel is. But they do not know where Nazareth is. If I wrote Nazareth Israel they would not know where it was.

IMRA: If you write Nazareth Palestine you create a problem. If they sent back a letter to Nazareth Palestine it might end up in the PA and never reach Nazareth.

Hassan: Not correct. Palestine is a place that was before the establishment of Israel. If we wrote "Nazareth Israel" they would not know where it was.

IMRA: Please excuse me. I have the Britannica Atlas here and have no problem finding Nazareth on the map. Are you insulting the Arab People and claiming that they are so stupid that they cannot open up an atlas and see where Nazareth Israel is located.

Hassan: Are you talking seriously to me?

IMRA: Are you saying that they are so stupid?

Hassan: Are you really saying that when President Assad gets the letter that he asks an assistant to open up an atlas to find Nazareth?

IMRA: Well what do you think HE thinks when he reads a letter from an Israeli Arab MK who is not willing to write "Nazareth Israel". What is he supposed to think of this? That instead he writes "Nazareth Palestine". What is he supposed to think from this?

Hassan: That is his business.

IMRA: You could have written "Nazareth - Middle East".

Hassan: What is wrong with "Nazareth - Palestine 1948"?

IMRA: Because "Palestine 1948" is something that no longer exists. It is something from history.

You know what? This is as if a Mexican-American U.S. Congressman from California were to send a letter to the president of Mexico with greetings on their independence day with the return address "Los Angeles, Mexico" since, after all, Los Angeles was once part of historical Mexico.

Hassan: Then the word "former" should be there. Next time we will write "formerly Palestine."

IMRA: Tell me something. Why did he do it? He knew that it would annoy the Israeli Jews when they learned of it? Would you say that it bothered him less to annoy the Israeli Jews than to annoy the Arabs outside of Israel?

Hassan: Yes. By the way, I would like to let you know that since news of this letter came out, MK Dahamshe has received threatening calls. Some even threatening his life.

IMRA: Have these calls been reported to the authorities?

Hassan: Yes. In fact, we gave them the telephone number that was the source of a threat on MK Dahamshe's life.

[Note: Although Dahamshe doesn't recognize the legitimacy of Israel -- and wants to make very sure that Syria knows it -- he expects that very same “illegitimate” Israel to protect his personal safety!]



[Arab MK Taleb A-Sana declares that IDF soldiers "murdered" Arab child]

(Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2001) Both Prime Minister Sharon and Foreign Minister Peres have expressed their deep sorrow over the accidental death of a five-month-old Arab baby during the IDF's firing two days ago at Khan Yunis in reaction to [Arab] mortar attacks [launched from Khan Yunis against the nearby Jewish town of Neveh Dekalim]. Gruesome pictures of the baby have been shown all over the world, as part of a concerted Palestinian effort to shift world public opinion in their favor. The PA has been touting the killing as a "second Muhammad al-Dura," a reference to the 12-year-old boy who was killed during a battle near Kfar Darom at the beginning of the Palestinian-initiated violence. Strong evidence has been produced, however, that the boy was actually killed, or murdered, by Palestinian fire (see ""). It was only six weeks ago that an Israeli baby, 10-month-old Shalhevet Pas of Hevron, was murdered by a Palestinian sniper bullet to her head.

Three Arab MKs attended the baby's funeral today: Ahmed Tibi, Muhammad Barakeh, and Taleb A-Sana. A-Sana said beforehand that the baby had been "murdered" by IDF soldiers.

[Note: It goes without saying that these three Knesset members haven't bothered to: (1) attend the funerals of any Israeli citizens killed by Arab rocks, knives, bullets, bombs or mortars; or (2) declare that any such citizens were "murdered" by Yasser Arafat's forces and their allies.]



Tibi facing probe for anti-Mofaz tirade

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi accuses "fascist" IDF Chief of Staff of "murder"]



(Jerusalem Post, May 16, 2001) The State Attorney's Office is to examine whether there are grounds to open an investigation against MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) for saying that Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz is a "fascist" who is "responsible for murder."

Coalition whip Ze'ev Boim (Likud) Wednesday delivered a videotape and protocol of Tibi's Tuesday speech in the Knesset to State Attorney Edna Arbel. She is to examine the material today.

Boim called for Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein to indict Tibi for incitement to murder. He said his comments were a "serious escalation in the verbal lawlessness of Arab MKs." In a letter to Rubinstein, he said that Tibi and other Arab MKs are abusing democracy.

In his speech, Tibi held Mofaz responsible for the "cold-blooded murder" of five Palestinian policemen at the Beitunya outpost and for the killing of Palestinian children.

Amid the furor over his comments, the government supported legislation that would ban a party or candidate from running for the Knesset if its aims or actions in the five years prior to the elections supported a terror organization or identified with an enemy state.

The bill was approved on preliminary reading by 40-19, with two abstentions.

Yisrael Katz (Likud), the bill's sponsor, conducted a verbal attack against Arab MKs while presenting the bill. "There is a political Tanzim in the Knesset. We saw its temporary commander, Ahmed Tibi, attack the chief of General Staff," he said. Katz said his bill would ensure that those who support Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, and the Tanzim can't run for the Knesset.

Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit said the legislation is in keeping with the principle that there only be minimal limitations on the right to take part in democracy.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that if Tibi has claims against Mofaz, he should bring them to him. "A Jew would never have been able to say such things in an Arab country," he added.

Meretz leader Yossi Sarid said that several Arab MKs are "causing great damage" to the peace process and to coexistence within Israel. He said these MKs are only "playing into the hands of the extreme right" and destroying the hope of many who see themselves as part of the peace camp.

Minister Without Portfolio Sallah Tarif [a Druze Arab], who is responsible for Arab affairs, said the comments should not have been made from the Knesset podium, and he would expect MKs to use much better parliamentary language. "Mofaz heads the IDF, which defends all Israelis, both Arab and Jewish," he added.

Eliezer Sandberg (Shinui) called on MKs to give Tibi the same treatment they gave to the late Meir Kahane and to leave the Knesset plenum every time he takes the podium until he apologizes for his comments.

Michael Kleiner (Herut) called on the Knesset to cancel the decision to give Tibi two security guards. Tibi asked the Knesset sergeant-at-arms for protection after he said he received many threatening phone calls following his speech. "There is no place to give the prize of special security to someone who creates a provocation," he said.

Despite his criticism of Tibi, Sarid objected to Katz's bill, saying it is "aimed at creating the groundwork for evicting Arab MKs from the Knesset."

Katz's bill was supported by MKs from the Likud, Shas, National Religious Party, National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu, Yisrael Ba'aliya, Shinui, United Torah Judaism, Herut, Center, and Gesher.

Voting against were the Arab parties, Meretz, and the Labor Party's Colette Avital and Nawaf Massalha. Most Labor MKs did not take part in the vote, while Ophir Pines-Paz and Eitan Cabel abstained.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Sallah Tarif, a Druze Arab and a minister in Israel's government, initially criticized, not the substance, but only the forum and the manner in which Tibi's hateful ideas were expressed. Only as an afterthought did Tarif think to offer a perfunctory defense of Mofaz.]


[Arab MKs Mohammed Barakeh, Issam Makhoul and Taleb a-Sana make solidarity visit to the "Palestinian" Arabs of Hebron]

By Ori Nir

(Ha'aretz, May 18, 2001) Arab MKs on a tour of Hebron yesterday urged Palestinian lawmakers and Fatah leaders to do what they can to stop the armed uprising, without forsaking its grassroots support, in order to end the impression that the confrontation in the territories is between two military forces, instead of between an occupied people and their occupiers.

Hadash MK Mohammed Barakeh, along with his party colleague Issam Makhoul and the United Arab List's Taleb a-Sana, met with Palestinian legislators from the Hebron area, and told them that Israel is, "trying to create the false impression that this is a military confrontation when the reality is there is an occupying power and a people suffering under occupation.

"Therefore," said Barakeh, "the grassroots nature of the Intifada should be strengthened, and the armed aspect minimized ... that would reflect the truth that this is about a people rejecting occupation, and would limit the Sharon government's ability to falsify the truth, as well as enable Israelis and other forces around the world to identify with the Palestinian cause."

Abbas Zakai, a Palestinian parliamentarian and a Fatah leader, called the shooting incidents by Palestinians "sporadic incidents by marginal elements." The meeting with the Palestinian legislators took place in the Hebron offices of the legislature. Photographs documenting Palestinian suffering during the strife are exhibited in the lobby of the building. The MKs also met with representatives from various political parties from the Hebron area.

IDF troops refused to let the group into Rehov Shuhada, where the Jewish settlers live, so the MKs went into the Abu Sneina neighborhood overlooking the Jewish neighborhood, assessing damage done to the Arab neighborhood by IDF shelling in response to gunshots fired from Abu Sneina toward the Jews of Hebron.

[Note: It was from this very same Abu Sneina, which towers over the Jewish neighborhood of Avraham Avinu, that an Arab sniper murdered a 10 month old baby -- Shalhevet Pas. These Arab MKs have become so brazen that they publicly identify with those who are conducting War against Israel -- euphemistically described by one of their interlocutors as "sporadic incidents by marginal elements" -- and they openly advise Israel's adversaries concerning the best propaganda strategies to employ in aid of this War, namely, a return to the earlier stage of violent "grassroots" confrontation by the masses.]


[Arab MK Talab a-Sana rebukes Mauritania for its foreign minister's visit to Israel and demands that it be punished by the Arab League]

By Aluf Benn, Ori Nir and Daniel Sobelman

(Ha'aretz with Reuters, May 24, 2001) The Palestinian Authority yesterday urged Arab League states to revoke Mauritania's membership for ignoring a ban on political contacts with Israel, following Foreign Minister Dahould Abdi's two-day visit to Israel.

In Cairo, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa criticized the visit but stopped short of calling for the northwest African country to be expelled. Moussa said Abdi's visit violated Saturday's decision by the Arab summit to stop "all Arab political contacts with the Israeli government as long as the aggression and blockade on the Palestinian people and Palestinian Authority continues."

MK Talab a-Sana (United Arab List) yesterday wrote to Moussa asking that Mauritania be punished for Abdi's meeting with President Moshe Katsav Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzipi Livni yesterday. A-Sana wrote that the Arab League's decision was meant "to force the [Israeli] government back into reality and back onto the path of negotiations. Not only does Mauritania's move breach the decision, but also encourages Israeli aggression and foils the chances for returning to the talks table."

During a joint press conference with Peres, Abdi said that his government had insisted on a visit during these troubled times to demonstrate its commitment to the peace process and that "there is no alternative." He called on Israel to lift the closure on the Palestinian autonomous areas and to freeze settlement activity.

During a meeting with President Katsav, Abdi said "my visit to Israel is purely political to see its commitment to, and willingness for, peace." He said "we have informed our Palestinian brothers negotiations are the only way and must be returned to."

Palestinian Minister of Information Yasser Abed Rabbo called for Mauritania's ejection from the League. "If Mauritania is not ready to comply with the resolutions of the Arab League to suspend diplomatic ties [with Israel], this shows that Mauritania should not be a member of the Arab League," Abed Rabbo said.

"We are angry to see the foreign minister of Mauritania pay this visit," Abed Rabbo told a news conference in Ramallah. Abdi declined comment on the remarks.

[Note: Something is amiss. Arab MK a-Sana is angry with Mauritania because, instead of pushing Israel "back into reality and back onto the path of negotiations", the visit of its foreign minister allegedly "encourages Israeli aggression and foils the chances for returning to the talks table". Yet, Mauritania's foreign minister called on both parties to return to negotiations, and he also called on Israel "to lift the closure on the Palestinian autonomous areas and to freeze settlement activity". Accordingly, it seems that -- contrary to this Arab MKs's criticisms -- Mauritania slavishly supports every major "Palestinian" demand, namely, that Israel return to negotiations without a prior cease fire by the "Palestinians", that Israel withdraw its forces to their pre-jihad lines of defense and thereby permit free movement of "Palestinians" from the autonomous areas into pre-1967 Israel, and that Israel prohibit the creation of additional, as well as the expansion of preexisting, Jewish areas in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem. Is a-Sana criticizing Mauritania for advocating the very same pro-"Palestinian" positions that he himself advocates? No. Rather, his criticism stems from the fact that Mauritania is pressing Arab demands upon Israel through direct diplomatic contacts rather than through combative official pronouncements issued from afar -- this despite the fact that the former method of persuasion is infinitely more effective than the latter method of persuasion. Clearly, this Arab MK's hatred for Israel is infinitely greater than his supposed love for his "Palestinian" brethren.]


Ha'aretz, 11 June 2001

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara, speaking in Syria before a coalition of Israel's adversaries, calls upon Arab countries to unite in jihad against Israel]

By Jalal Bana, Yossi Verter and Daniel Sobelman, Ha'aretz Correspondents

Flanked by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, MK Dr. Azmi Bishara yesterday called on Arab countries to promote "resistance" against Israel. Bishara was speaking in northern Syria, at Kardaha, the birthplace of the late president Hafez Assad, in a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of his death.

Bishara's remarks and his appearance alongside Nasrallah and extremist Palestinian leaders sparked fury across Israel's political spectrum. Knesset colleagues and cabinet members called for border authorities to detain Bishara for questioning about possible criminal wrongdoing when he returns to Israel. And Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein last night hinted Bishara could face a criminal investigation.

Bishara was one of 10 Arab leaders who delivered remarks at the memorial service. Other participants in the event included Hezbollah General-Secretary Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud, Iranian Vice President Hasan Habibi, Hamas operatives and leaders of other militant Palestinian organizations based in Syria.

War And Resistance:

Calling for unified Arab resistance against Israel, Bishara declared: "After the [Hezbollah] victory, and after the failure of the Camp David summit, Israel's government started to reduce this sphere of [Hezbollah] resistance. Today, Israel puts forth a choice -- either accept Israel's dictates -- or full-scale war. There is no possibility of carrying on with a third alternative, the path of resistance [i.e., terrorism], other than by enlarging this resistance sphere [i.e., terrorism], so that people can carry on with the struggle."

Praising Hezbollah activity against Israel in southern Lebanon, Bishara alluded to "the heroism of the Islamic struggle." Since the Sharon government lacks a "political-diplomatic program containing any hope for dialogue," there is an increased need for pan-Arab unity, Bishara said.

Bishara attacked the Sharon government for trying to bring the Middle East to a point where "either Israel's program is accepted, or the whole region goes to the brink of war."

In his remarks at the Assad memorial service, Sheikh Nasrallah said "we won't give up on Palestine, all of Palestine, and Jerusalem will remain the place to which all Jihad warriors will direct their prayers."

Nasrallah vowed to return the Shaba farms [an area that was captured by Israel from Syria -- not Lebanon -- in the 1967 Six Day War] to Lebanon, via "blood, Jihad and resistance." He pledged that Hezbollah won't acquiesce to Israeli control on the Golan Heights.

Though Bishara's appearance at the Kardaha event was not the first time Israeli Arab Knesset members have participated alongside Hezbollah chief Nasrallah or leaders of Palestinian extremist organizations in activities outside the country's borders, furious Knesset members declared yesterday that this time the Balad MK has gone too far.

Coalition whip MK Ze'ev Baum called on Public Security Minister Uzi Landau to order border crossing authorities to detain Bishara for questioning when he returns to Israel. Baum said: "Bishara has publicly connected himself to Israel's worst enemies; this cannot be ignored, and the police should detain him with a view toward indicting him for conspiring with the enemy."

Interior Minister Eli Yishai asked government Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein to consider criminally indicting Bishara. "All steps should be taken against Knesset members who travel to enemy countries," Yishai said.

Responding to these calls, Attorney General Rubinstein said last night that the moment Bishara crosses back into Israel from Syria, police and the State Prosecutors Office will consider taking action against him.

Aggravated Relations:

Heading a furious rhetorical onslaught against Bishara, right-wing MK Michael Kleiner (Herut-National Movement) declared yesterday that "in any normal country, they'd put him before a firing squad. It's inconceivable that an Israeli Knesset member would encourage Arab states to launch a full-scale war against [Israel]."

Chairman of One Israel faction MK Efi Oshaya suggested to Bishara that he ask Syrian President Bashar Assad to pay half of his salary. "Bishara is an Israeli citizen and an elected MK, and yet he's promoting Syria's purposes," Oshaya declared.

He added that Bishara's appearance alongside Nasrallah has aggravated relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel. Bishara's provocative actions, Oshaya said, are a disservice to his Israeli Arab constituency. It is to be regretted that because of the Balad MK's "populism" a whole population sector might be regarded as collaborating with the enemy, the One Israel Chairman said.

Bishara's controversial appearance yesterday was not the first time he has flirted precariously with Israeli law as a result of his connections with Syria. Ten days ago the Balad MK was questioned by police about his role facilitating visits paid by Israeli [Arab] citizens to an enemy country -- Syria.

Bishara reportedly has been active helping a number of Israeli [Arab] citizens go to Syria via Jordan, to visit Palestinian family relations who have lived in that country since 1948. The police have recommended that Bishara be indicted for illegally facilitating these trips -- the State Prosecutor has yet to act on this recommendation.

Bishara has denounced police investigations into his facilitating trips to Syria, calling it tantamount to "political persecution."

Police sources say Bishara "throws sand in the eyes" of Israeli Arab citizens who travel to Syria, leading them to believe that such trips are legal. In actual fact, the visits are a criminal infraction punishable by up to four years in prison.

Valid permits to visit countries defined by Israel as "enemy states" can be obtained via requests submitted to the Interior Ministry, the police sources say. They add that: "Bishara has emphatically declined to take this legal route of obtaining visit clearances, and he has misled an entire public."

Responding yesterday to Bishara's appearance in Syria at the Hafez Assad memorial event, police officials said they will conduct a review to see if the MK requested proper authorization for his journey, and whether there are grounds for opening a formal criminal investigation against him.

[Note: Israeli police are naive if they really think that MK Bishara and the myriad other Arab MKs who, on a daily basis, commit acts of sedition and/or treason against the State of Israel are deceiving their "Israeli" Arab constituencies. On the contrary, their constituencies know very well that these MKs not only hate the State of Israel, but that they also constantly compete with each other in publicly proving it to their voters -- that is precisely why their constituencies keep returning these very same MKs to the Knesset, election after election.]




(Arutz Sheva, June 12, 2001) Labor MK Yossi Katz, Chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, attempted again today to include Arab MK Taleb A-Sana on the Committee to prepare a new bill regulating General Security Service [Israel's domestic intelligence agency, equivalent to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)] activities -- but his efforts were crowned with failure. A shouting match between Arab and other Knesset Members abruptly cut off the Committee session dealing with the issue. MK Benny Elon submitted an appeal of Katz's original decision, saying that A-Sana is not loyal to the State [of Israel] and is therefore disqualified from dealing with a GSS bill. [Most Jewish MKs consider A-Sana guilty of treason due to, inter alia, his recent public criticism of Mauritania, a member of the Arab League, for engaging in diplomatic contacts with Israel and his concomitant demand that Mauritania be punished by the Arab League for so doing.] The Arab MKs said that this was racism, and [Arab] MK Barakeh said, "Why don't you just pass a law that will remove us from the Knesset and get it over with?" MK Ze'ev Boim said, "Don't worry, we're doing that." In the end, A-Sana withdrew his own candidacy.

The Interior and Ethics Committees dealt afterwards with a request to remove the Parliamentary immunity of [Arab] MK Azmi Bishara, following his anti-Israel speech in Damascus two days ago. Bishara said he is not afraid to sit in jail. "They [the Israelis] forced us to take their citizenship, and now they want to take it away from us," he said. Interior Minister Eli Yeshai has asked approval from Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein to strip Bishara of citizenship. Yeshai told Arutz-7 today that Rubenstein must make the final decision because of Bishara's Parliamentary immunity.

[Note: MK Bishara is right. The Arab MKs and their constituencies found themselves on the wrong side of the border at the end of Israel's War of Independence. In this sense, the Jews forced Israeli citizenship upon the "Israeli" Arabs; for, citizenship was bestowed upon them, not on account of their presumed loyalty to the Jewish State (-- on the contrary, their kinsmen violently tried to prevent its establishment --), but only because they found themselves living inside the State at the time of its creation -- an event which they publicly mourn each May 15 (Israel Independence Day according to the secular -- i.e., Gregorian -- calendar) as al-Nakba (Arabic-language meaning: The Catastrophe).]



Defiant Bishara returns under threat of prosecution



(Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2001) [Arab] MK Azmi Bishara (Balad) returned from Syria Monday and defiantly declared he would not take back his calls for Arabs to escalate their conflict with Israel.

Supporters greeted Bishara with a hero's welcome when he arrived in Israel, via Jordan, across the Sheikh Hussein Bridge near Beit She'an, waving Palestinian flags and chanting against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government.

Upon arrival, Bishara was immediately given a summons to appear for questioning by police in Petah Tikva today, but he told supporters at a Balad rally in Nazareth that he would not appear, because the probe is political and because he had scheduled medical tests for today.

"I do not take back anything I said," Bishara told the rally. "I am not an Israeli patriot; I am a Palestinian patriot. Israel must understand that I cannot call Syria an enemy country, even if they crucify me."

Bishara blamed the media for inciting the people of Israel against him, saying he has been blamed for everything but starting the intifada.

"Nothing I said in Damascus is new," Bishara said. "Opposing the Occupation is legitimate. I have said worse things in the Knesset. I have told Sharon many times that he is leading the country to war. I considered every word I said in Syria and I gave my position."

Bishara said he did not commit a crime and that MKs cannot be investigated for political speeches.

Balad activists started a petition drive, attaching names of hundreds of citizens who agree with Bishara to a copy of his speech in Syria. The petition will be given to Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein.

Bishara caused an outcry last week when, at a memorial for the late Syrian president Hafez Assad, he called on Arabs around the world to join "resistance" against Israel. Bishara joined Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in entreating the Arab world "to unite against the warmongering Sharon government."

Calls from MKs to prosecute Bishara and strip him of citizenship continued Monday.

"It is forbidden to let Bishara's attempt to become a political martyr interfere with prosecuting him and outlawing his party," said Herut's Michael Kleiner, who last week said that, in any other country, Bishara would be put before a firing squad.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: MK Bishara incites the Arab countries to unite, in jihad, against Israel at the very same time that he accuses Israel of "warmongering". Then, when he is accused of treason against Israel, he responds by implicitly comparing himself to the crucified Jesus, thereby further stirring the primeval embers of Jew-hatred.]


[Arab MK] Bishara scoffs at security warnings that Syria may try to recruit Israeli Arabs

By Amos Harel and Ori Nir, Ha'aretz Correspondents, Ha'aretz 26 June 2001

Israel's security organizations are concerned about the possibility that the Syrian intelligence services will take advantage of the visits there by Arab Israelis, in order to recruit agents among them.

The visits are being organized by [Arab] MK Azmi Bishara in an effort to reunite family members, some of whom have not met for decades. Many [but not most] of those participating in the visits are elderly.

For his part, Bishara rejected the concerns voiced by Israeli security and said that "experience shows that those who want to join these organizations [Syrian intelligence] do not need to travel to Damascus for that, and will certainly not do so in an open way through the visits which my office organizes."

He noted that in the past both Jewish and Arab Israelis were recruited by the Syrian intelligence in meetings they held with Syrian operatives in Europe.

The meetings are considered illegal under Israeli law and are being investigated by the State Prosecutor's office.

Since last September, some 500 Israeli Arabs have traveled to Syria in groups. The latest such visit took place on May 24 and another group is planning to leave for Syria soon.

The trip to Syria is made through Jordan, without any of those in the group requesting the necessary permit from the Israeli Interior Ministry. In Jordan those traveling to Syria receive the necessary documentation, which Bishara organizes, and on which there is no mention that they are Israeli citizens.

The police so far have questioned 40 families who have taken part in the visits.

The Israeli security services do not suspect that MK Bishara is purposely organizing meetings between the visitors and Syrian agents. However, there is growing concern that the visits are being used to gather information on Israel and also recruit agents.

In addition to these visits, Israel allows the passage of Druze [Arabs] living in the Golan Heights to Syria, on grounds that are described as "humanitarian." The trips are authorized for meetings with family members living in Syria and also for study.

Since the start of the year, some 30 Israeli Arabs have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in hostile activities. That is not a significant increase over the previous year.

[Note: MK Bishara does not have to "purposely" organize any meetings between Syrian intelligence agents and the visiting "Israeli" Arabs -- the Syrians know that these "Israeli" Arabs are in Syria, and they are easily able to recruit them without any further assistance from Bishara. As for Bishara's refrain that it is inconceivable that anyone would be so stupid as to meet with Syrian intelligence agents during one of these open jaunts to Syria, it should be remembered that the time-honored tactic commonly known as "hiding in plain sight" can be most effective against an inattentive adversary].


PA lists MK Ahmed Tibi as "Israeli Affairs Advisor" to Arafat

Aaron Lerner Date: 26 June 2001

The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) publishes a diary each year that includes probably the most useful directory for those involved in covering [official] Palestinian activities. The directory has detailed listings of the various offices and officials in the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] and PA [Palestinian Authority] as well as other Palestinian bodies that include names, telephone, fax and other contact details.

Page 12 of the diary has the following entry under "Palestinian Authority - President's Office and Ministries - President's Office":

Israeli Affairs Advisor:

Dr. Ahmed Tibi

Tel: 02-6771267/ 050-268777

Dr. Tibi is an Israeli Arab who is a member of the Israeli Knesset. IMRA contacted PASSIA today:

IMRA: On page 12 of your diary you list Dr. Ahmed Tibi as Arafat's Israeli Affairs Advisor. I was wondering how this came about. Did the PA give you a list or is this your own list or what?

Brenda: We get all the information from the main resource. For example, we get the information for the Foreign Ministry from the Foreign Ministry itself. We get the information for the President's Office [the Office of Yasser Arafat] -- from the President's Office itself.

IMRA: So this listing of Ahmed Tibi as having the position of Israeli Affairs Advisor is from the President's Office.

Brenda: Yes.


MK Tibi responds to report that listed him as "Israeli Affairs Advisor" to Arafat

[Arab MK Tibi lied when he claimed that his listing was a printing error]

Aaron Lerner Date: 28 June 2001

Israel Radio reported this morning that Herut MK Michael Kleiner has called on MK Ahmed Tibi to resign from the Knesset because he serves as an advisor to Yasser Arafat. Israel Radio explained in detail that the basis of the charge is IMRA's 26 June 2001 report that Arafat's office lists him as an advisor. Israel Radio reported that MK Tibi explained that the listing is an old listing that has not been corrected. It should be noted that MK Tibi was FIRST listed as advisor to Arafat in the 1999 PASSIA book -- he is not in the 1996, 1997 or 1998 listings. The list is updated each year. MK Tibi's name appears in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 list.

[Note: It is important to understand that MK Tibi was not listed as Arafat's Israeli Affairs Advisor until 1999 because that was the first year that he was elected to the Knesset.]



(Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2001) Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi brought Arab violence to the Knesset yesterday when he slugged an Israeli citizen during a committee session. The civilian, Yehuda Levinger, security officer of Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, filed a complaint with the police.

The incident occurred while the Knesset Interior committee deliberated the problem of illegal Arab construction. Levinger was there to represent his neighborhood which, the residents claim, is slowly but surely being encroached upon by illegal Arab construction from nearby Arab neighborhoods. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, who had been invited to give his point of view on the matter, was yelled down and insulted by several of the Arab MKs. Speaking to Arutz-7 today, Levinger picked up the narrative at that point:

"Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) was forced to expel Arab MK Issam Mahoul because of the way he was shouting and insulting Olmert, in an attempt to divert the discussion to the demolition of illegally-built Arab homes in northern Jerusalem the day before. As Mahoul left, he called for 'reinforcements' in the form of other Arab MKs, and Gafni finally had to close the session. At that point, MK Tibi started totally losing control -- he's known to have been involved in violence of this nature other times -- and started yelling. I didn't even say anything to him, but he apparently heard someone next to me say something like, 'Would they let them speak like this in Syria?' He then turned and punched me. I screamed at him, 'Why are you hitting me, idiot?', and then he again pulled my arm until others came and took him away from me."

Knesset Education Committee Chairman Zevulun Orlev (NRP) said today that the problem of verbal violence in the Knesset, "which is generally instigated by one sector [the Arabs]," is a severe phenomenon that must be addressed by Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg. Likud MK Ze'ev Boim accused Burg of being unduly forgiving of such behavior by Arab MKs.

[Note: This news items requires no comment from me.]



(Arutz Sheva, July 24, 2001) A criminal investigation will apparently be opened against Arab MK Muhammed Kenaan for punching and cursing a policeman this morning. Kenaan was part of a Knesset group visiting the Interior Ministry office in eastern Jerusalem this morning. An argument developed between the security guard and the MK, at which point Kenaan allegedly directed particularly strong curses against the policeman on duty. When the latter said that he could arrest Kenaan for insulting a public servant, the MK pushed and then punched the policeman in the face, who required hospital care for dizziness and related problems. Kenaan himself later said that he merely attempted to extricate himself from the clutches of the policeman when he informed him that he [Kenaan] was under arrest, and that the policeman must learn to act in a more cultured manner.


[Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Abdulmalik Dehamshe incited Arabs to riot on the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av]

Baruch Kra, Ha'aretz Correspondent, 1 August 2001

The Jerusalem District Police yesterday submitted the investigation material on the possible involvement of MKs Ahmed Tibi (Ta'al) and Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List) in the riots on the Temple Mount on Sunday, Tisha B'Av [which fell this year on July 29, 2001]. The material was submitted to the head of investigations, Major General Moshe Mizrahi, who will pass it on to the Attorney General with a recommendation whether to indict. On Saturday [July 28, 2001] Dehamshe called for Muslims to come en masse to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque [situated atop the Temple Mount] with their bodies against the plan of the Temple Mount Faithful [a Jewish organization which believes that Israel should replace the two mosques on the Temple Mount with the third Jewish Temple] to place a cornerstone for the third Jewish temple. Dehamshe knew that the cornerstone ceremony was not going to take place on the Temple Mount [or even inside the walls of the Old City]. Tibi [and thousands of other Arabs] responded to Dehamshe's call and came to the Mount [after which scores of Arabs began to rain down hundreds of rocks upon Jews praying at the Western Wall plaza located directly below]. Senior police sources said yesterday that, under the existing law, it will probably be impossible to indict, because only cases in which the incitement is against a group can it be pursued in court.

[Note: Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, is observed annually by the Jewish people with a 24 hour fast in commemoration of the destruction, on that day, of the First Temple by the Babylonian empire and of the Second Temple by the Roman empire.] 



A-G orders police to investigate MK a-Sanaa

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa publicly praises terror assault in Tel Aviv as being "an attack of special quality"; and Arab MK Azmi Bishara says that he "agrees with every word"]



(Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2001) Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein Monday ordered police to launch an investigation on suspicion of incitement against MK Taleb a-Sanaa, who praised the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv on Sunday in which eight soldiers and two civilians were wounded.

"There is no country in the world which would be prepared to tolerate a statement from one of its legislators which regards an attempt to kill soldiers in the middle of its cities as legitimate, whatever his political point of view," said Rubinstein.

During an interview on Abu Dhabi television, a-Sanaa said: "This is an attack of special quality, because it was not against civilians but against soldiers in the very heart of Israel. The Israelis have to understand that if there is no security for Palestinians, there will not be security for Israelis. There can be no guilt feelings in this case. This is the legitimate struggle par excellence of the Palestinian people."

A-Sanaa responded that Rubinstein's announcement is a "totally political move" based on "racist considerations." He said Rubinstein has not taken action against Jews for incitement, including Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Moreover, a-Sanaa said his interview had been "distorted" and that claims that he had expressed support for the attack are "false." He said he "condemns all acts of violence" and had only explained the Palestinian rationale behind the attack.

He added that his job as an MK is to express opinions, and his parliamentary immunity is intended to enable him to do so without fear.

Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit acknowledged Monday that there are few legal steps that can be taken against a-Sanaa, since the Knesset has rejected legislation that would have revamped anti-incitement laws.

Sheetrit noted that as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that interpreted the laws against insurrection, indictments are not being served for incitement.

He blamed MKs for "irresponsibility" for failing to support the law. The legislation was rejected on third reading by a coalition of MKs from Shas, the National Religious Party, Meretz, and Arab parties. Sheetrit refiled the bill a week later, but it was rejected again.

Sheetrit said passage of the legislation would enable the prosecution of MKs who cross the line, adding that "a-Sanaa did so long ago."

Knesset Law Committee chairman Ophir Pines-Paz said the courts must take action against MKs who are exploiting their immunity.

In the interview, a-Sanaa said that if Israel can operate in Nablus, Palestinians can reach the heart of Tel Aviv. He was referring to the recent IDF assassination of a group of Hamas operatives.

Balad MK Azmi Bishara is also being investigated for a speech praising the armed struggle against Israel that he delivered at a memorial ceremony for late Syrian president Hafez Assad.

Bishara issued a statement in support of a-Sanaa, saying he "identifies with his remarks and agrees with every word of them."

The Left censured a-Sanaa for his comments, but did not express support for taking measures against him.

Meretz whip Zehava Gal-On said the remarks were "severe" and express support for terror. However, she said she was not sure legal steps should be taken.

MK Mossy Raz (Meretz) said that while a-Sanaa justifiably objects to the assassination of Palestinians, even when they are involved in terror, he should "all the more so object to the kind of attack carried out in Tel Aviv." Raz said that all acts of violence are "illegitimate, including those against military personnel."

MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) Monday sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg demanding that a-Sanaa and Bishara be forced to pass through security, including metal detectors, when they enter the Knesset.

Kleiner said that MKs who praise terror attacks should be "treated with suspicion," and they "may translate their words into action" by smuggling weapons into the Knesset while exploiting their parliamentary immunity.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: The attack was perpetrated by an "Israeli" Arab from Jerusalem against a crowd of people standing in front of the military compound known as "HaKirya", which houses the offices of Israel's Defense Ministry and the headquarters of the Israel Defenses Forces. Using a machine gun the terrorist raked the crowd, wounding both civilians and soldiers. The fact that soldiers were also injured serves as the pretext for a-Sanaa's exaltation of the crime as "an attack of special quality ... the legitimate struggle par excellence of the Palestinian people."]



(Arutz Sheva, August 28, 2001) Thousands took part in the funeral this afternoon of arch-terrorist Abu Ali Mustafa in Ramallah today; he was killed yesterday by a precisely-aimed missile fired by Israeli forces. Among the mourners was Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, who said that many of those leading the Palestinian violence against Israel are his personal friends. Arab MK Muhammad Barakeh said that the killing of Mustafa has brought the Israeli Arab community closer together with the PA [Palestinian Authority] Arabs.

[Note: Abu Ali Mustafa (the nom de guerre of Mustafa Zibri) was the local military commander of the Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine (PFLP), a terror organization whose main headquarters is located in Damascus, Syria. In 1999 Israel permitted this terrorist leader to return to the country based upon his explicit promise not to engage in any further violence against Israel or the Jewish people. Within the past year the PFLP, under Mustafa's direction, has planted bombs all over Israel; at the time of his death Mustafa was in the process of planning terror attacks against Israel's kindergartens and schools. Arab MKs Tibi and Barakeh mourn the death of those who murder Jews because these and other Arab MKs, as well as the "Israeli" Arab voters who perpetually return them to the Knesset, represent the interests, not of the State of Israel, but rather of its enemies.]



(Arutz Sheva, August 30, 2001) Arab MK Azmi Bishara feels that Israel, the country in whose legislature he is a member, is an "enemy." He said this in Durban, South Africa [during the United Nations' World Conference Against Racism], in a phone interview with a Palestinian newspaper, a transcript of which was prepared by Palestinian Media Watch <>. Asked about Israel's missile strike that killed PFLP terrorist leader Abu Ali Mustafa, Bishara said, "I lost a personal friend, this was a great loss. I immediately called brothers in the Galilee, and we arranged rallies in Nazareth and Um el-Fahm [both of which are Arab towns located within the borders of pre-1967 Israel] ... We have no choice but to wage an existential war... Israel is forcing this existential war upon us, but in the end there is no escape from the fact that the Palestinian nation will win over this oppressive enemy that does not recognize values or anything else..."

MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) said that Bishara's words expressing hope for a "Palestinian victory over the Israeli enemy" is further proof that he is an enemy of Israel, towards whom "we must act as if he were a terrorist who infiltrated under the fence of Israeli democracy into the Knesset." Kleiner called on the registrar of political parties to exhibit "public valor and disqualify Bishara's party, which serves as a front for illegal activity."

Arab MK Muhammad Barakeh will participate in the Palestinian festivities tonight celebrating the Israeli withdrawal [from the Palestinian Authority-controlled Arab town of Beit Jala, which Israel briefly entered in order to prevent further shooting attacks from that town against the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, located in southern Jerusalem]. He said that he plans to speak at the event.

Yediot Acharonot [an Israeli newspaper] editorialized today that the Israeli Arab MKs are "stretching the cords of democracy so much that they are in danger of rupturing," which will "endanger the Arab citizens of Israel before it endangers the Jews."


The Jerusalem Report Magazine: At Issue (September 10, 2001)

The Back Page: Have some Arab Knesset members crossed the line?

Knesset Member Mohammed Barakeh has called on demonstrators to break "the arms and legs" of Israeli police officers, in protest against the demolition of illegal Arab homes. MK Ahmad Tibi has branded IDF Chief-of-Staff Shaul Mofaz a "fascist murderer." MK Azmi Bishara has praised Hizballah, and while visiting Syria in June, endorsed Arab "resistance." And Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein recently opened an investigation into comments made by MK Taleb a-Sana on Abu Dhabi TV that allegedly justified the August 5 shooting attack outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Do these, and other such comments and activities, constitute disloyalty to Israel?

Salah Tarif, Labor's Minister of Arab Affairs, debates Knesset Member Taleb a-Sana, of the United Arab List

Dear MK a-Sana,

As a liberal democratic state, we are obligated to allow politicians wide-ranging freedom of expression of their ideas, world views and languages -- particularly on the Knesset podium. But there are red lines that cannot be crossed. We must draw the Arab public closer to the state, not push it onto the the lunatic fundamentalist fringe or to take extremist nationalist positions. More than once, I have called on Arab MKs and public figures to stop their blind, irresponsible chase after headlines which inevitably become incitement and provocation. Regrettably, most Arab MKs neglect the real problems of Israeli Arabs, including poverty, unemployment, and cultural and regional isolation, preferring to address themselves to pan-Arab topics. Seventeen of the 20 villages worst hit by unemployment are Arab. The Arab Israeli citizen is isolated, neglected and humiliated, and he falls victim to completely unviable nationalist expressions. Still, like every other MK you, Taleb al-Sana, cannot use parliamentary immunity to sow the seeds of hate. History has assigned an unprecedentedly important task to the leaders of Israel's Arab community in these difficult times: building mutual confidence between the two peoples, not sowing hate and suspicion which do disservice to Israel's Arab population. -- Salah Tarif


Dear Minister Tarif,

Salah my friend. You have joined the chorus of inciters seeking to blame us -- who are poor and unemployed, whose land has been expropriated, who lost 13 demonstrators and had hundreds of wounded last October. Did you hear anyone in authority condemn the "execution" by police of demonstrators? Is it a coincidence? If the demonstrators were Jews, would the police have acted as they did? In Israel, if you are an Arab it is assumed that you are opposed to the State, unless you prove otherwise. Dare to say something that can be interpreted as "against the State," and you will be classified collectively with all Arabs, "who are, of course, all the same and all against us." So we are faced with two options: become collaborators [with the State] and adopt the views of the System, or suffer from delegitimization. We were never against the State, but we are against its policies. Many governments have come and gone since 1948, but the policies towards us have not changed. We are seen as a foreign body, or a group that must accept the status quo. They will tell us where to live and what to say -- even what is best for us. This paternalistic braggart's approach envelops the policy of apartheid with a shiny wrapping of democracy. Today, under the mask of "democracy under siege," they are seeking to freeze our right to express our positions, which are different because we are not part of the Zionist movement, and because we are part of the Palestinian people. We cannot support our country's occupation and repression against our people. Our statements reflect the extreme realities, which are not of our creation. Attempts to muzzle us will not change the reality, nor are we willing to be made into scapegoats for the disillusionment from the moral bankruptcy of the occupying State. I never justified the Defense Ministry attack. And there is an essential difference between my statement about the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation and any justification of such attacks. But what difference does the truth make during a witch hunt? -- Taleb a-Sana



You don't have to convince me that Israel's Arabs have been deprived and discriminated against by the State. But, my friend, if you don't oppose the State of Israel but just its policies, as you say again and again, you are no different from Jewish Leftists like Shulamit Aloni. If that's so, how come I never heard her express herself the way you did a few days ago, on the Abu Dhabi network. Freedom of expression is a sacred value in any democratic state and especially in one as heterogenous and inegalitarian as the State of Israel. But the difference between freedom of expression and incitement and hate-mongering is simple and clear. Today, 53 years after its establishment, justice, logic and the reality dictate that I, a non-Jew, accept and reconcile myself with the existence of the State of Israel -- if it finds a just formula and a realistic solution for our Palestinian brethren and provides equal rights and real equal opportunity for non-Jewish citizens of Israel. -- Salah



You are correct, there's little difference between our criticism and that of the Israeli Left. The difference lies in how it's treated: The Left's [criticism] is seen as a bitter critique, ours as incitement. You know, of course, that Arabs "riot" rather than "demonstrate." And yes, if Shulamit Aloni had made the statements I did to Abu Dhabi TV, I can guarantee you that the dispute would have been over the content, because all I said was that the Tel Aviv attack demonstrated the failure of Sharon's concept, that it was possible to attain security solely by the use of force. I said that the security of Tel Aviv is connected to the security of Nablus, and if Israel can strike at Nablus the Palestinians can hit Tel Aviv, and that this action was different because it was against soldiers, not civilians, and I stressed the Palestinians' legitimate right to resist the occupation. To the best of my knowledge, that's a political position. In this moment of crisis, democracy's test is its ability to tolerate another view, to treat citizens equally without respect to religion, nationality or race. That promise, made in the Declaration of Independence, has not been fulfilled to this day. -- Taleb

[Note: It must be remembered that this public exchange of views was orchestrated by the Jerusalem Report, an English-language biweekly magazine, whose international readership is mostly Jewish. Obviously, both Salah Tarif, a Druze Arab who is a member of the Knesset and a minister in Israel's government, and Taleb a-Sanaa, an Arab member of the Knesset, are carefully tailoring their words for this particular audience. It is strange that the Jerusalem Report did not see fit to reprint the referenced excerpt from a-Sanaa's interview with Abu Dhabi television so that its readership could judge for itself whether a-Sanaa is a loyal citizen of Israel who is merely using his platform as a Knesset member to constructively criticize his country's policies or whether he is a traitor who desires to ingratiate himself with Israel's enemies (especially in case they eventually manage to conquer the Jewish State). On August 5, 2001 a terrorist attacked a crowd of people standing in front of the military compound known as "HaKirya", which houses the offices of Israel's Defense Ministry and the headquarters of the Israel Defenses Forces. Using a machine gun the terrorist raked the crowd, wounding both soldiers and civilians. This is what a-Sanaa had to say about this atrocity on Abu Dhabi television: "This is an attack of special quality, because it was not against civilians but against soldiers in the very heart of Israel. The Israelis have to understand that if there is no security for Palestinians, there will not be security for Israelis. There can be no guilt feelings in this case. This is the legitimate struggle par excellence of the Palestinian people." And as for Tarif, although he is now a minister in Israel's government, here is a March 8, 2001 Arutz Sheva news service report of statements that he made prior to his elevation to Israel's cabinet: "Minister without Portfolio Salah Tarif, a Labor party MK who today became the first non-Jew to serve as a minister in an Israeli government, has been cited for several anti-Israel comments. A few weeks ago, he granted an interview to Palestinian television in which he called the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israel 'captives'; he said that Sharon had 'defiled the Al-Aksa Mosque with his visit [to the Temple Mount]'; and said that Druze citizens should not have to serve in the army. Minister Tarif also sent good wishes to Hamas terrorist chief Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and blessed his interviewers that they should 'reach Jerusalem, with the help of Allah.' Palestinian Media Watch supplied tape recordings of the interview to Arutz Sheva."]



[Arab MK] Dehamshe: I'm willing to be Islamic martyr



(Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2001) United Arab List leader [MK] Abdul Malik Dehamshe says he is willing to be a shahid (holy martyr) in order to protect Islamic holy sites, including Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Dehamshe, whose comments were first published in Ma'ariv [an Israeli newspaper] Tuesday, also said his people understand his message. He is head of the Islamic Movement component of the United Arab List.

Dehamshe said he is willing to protect the sites against any kind of attack by people who aim to harm them.

Meanwhile, MK Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Tuesday to outlaw the Islamic Movement in Israel as a result of the massive terror attacks in the US [which, on September 11, 2001, destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, DC., resulting in thousands of casualties].

Katz also called for a "decisive military strike against the Islamic terror bases in the West Bank," which he said are operated by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Katz said the free world would understand that all democratic forces must be united against Islamic terror. "Islamic terror is a threat to the entire world," he said.

Dehamshe said he does not justify the suicide bomb attack by an Israeli Arab Islamist that killed three people in Nahariya earlier this week. However, he said he understands that in light of the difficult situation in the Arab sector people could "become desperate."

Dehamshe also said that the struggle to ensure equality should be conducted only through legal means. "We won't engage in an uprising against the State and won't fight against it," he was quoted as saying.

[Note: It is certainly soothing to Jewish ears to hear an "Israeli" Arab member of Knesset declare in a Jewish newspaper that he "won't engage in an uprising against the State" -- maybe MK Dehamshe should be given a "good citizenship" award for such a conciliatory statement; but the message conveyed to the "Israeli" Arab electorate by Dehamshe's publicized desire to become a shahid (martyr) in order to protect the Al Aksa mosque (against Israel's nonexistent designs to destroy it) nevertheless reeks of sedition rather than reconciliation.]



The bomber next door [excerpted]




(Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2001) ... Hadash MK Hashem Mahameed comments [on the motivation of "Israeli" Arab suicide bomber Muhammed Shaker Habeishi who, on September 9, 2001, detonated himself at the railway station in the Jewish town of Nahariya, killing two and wounding scores more in the process]: "We live in an area that is boiling over, and the conflict here affects everyone. I am a citizen of Israel, but when I see that my state, or what is supposed to be my state, is treating me as a foreigner in my homeland, that creates a situation of bitterness and anger which might lead to an eruption," he adds, quickly, emphasizing that he is explaining, not justifying, violence against Jews. ...

[Note: Of course, MK Mahameed -- being a member of Israel's Knesset -- would never justify violence against the Jewish citizenry of the State which he represents, because that just might be considered an act of sedition! However, when he states that he feels like a foreigner in his own homeland, it is obvious that the homeland to which he is referring is not the State of Israel, but rather a future "Palestine" stretching from "the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea" -- that is the definition of sedition.]


Arab MKs refuse to condemn Palestinian joy over U.S. attacks

By Gideon Alon, Haaretz, 17 September 2001

All Knesset factions except the Arab parties yesterday denounced manifestations of Palestinian joy following last week's deadly terror attacks in the United States, in a summary statement adopted at a special session to express solidarity with the American people in the wake of the attacks.

Those Palestinians who support terror, the resolution said, "could not restrain themselves. While across the sea, people were counting the bodies of innocent civilians, they [Palestinian supporters of terror] chose to dance on the blood of the dead."

The resolution was supported by all Knesset factions except the Arab parties.

The Arab factions also refused to sign the Knesset's letter of sympathy to the American people, for the same reason: This letter, which the heads of the other Knesset factions signed and delivered to U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer yesterday, also included a denunciation of those Palestinians who celebrated the attacks.

The summary statement said that the Knesset shares the deep sorrow of the American people for the loss of so many citizens in an inhumane terror attack. It added that the Knesset views terror as the greatest strategic threat to worldwide peace, and praised U.S. President George Bush's decision to embark on a determined struggle against terrorism.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) said that he also denounces the manifestations of joy in the Arab street. "I feel shame and anger toward those who expressed joy at this human tragedy," he said.

However, he added, "We are talking about a handful of rash, stupid and ugly people, and the attempt to stigmatize the entire Arab and Islamic nation with their exceptional acts is cheap, harmful and perverted."

Kurtzer, upon accepting the Knesset's letter, expressed his hope that the U.S. would succeed in forging a broad coalition against terror, and that even those who until now "had made the wrong decisions" would now "make the right choice" and participate in the coalition.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the special session that those who sent the murderous terrorists against America last week "were trying to undermine the [world's] largest democracy, which, more than any other country in the history of the world, has been the foundation and the basis for global security and peace."

"The massacre of innocent civilians was meant to cause a demoralization and loss of security in American society," he said.

But such terror, he continued, is nothing new to Israel, which "has been fighting Arab, Palestinian, Islamic and fundamentalist terror for over 120 years. Thousands of Jews have been killed in terror attacks; Arab terror has left thousands of widows and tens of thousands of orphans in its wake."

Terrorism, he added, is abetted by the incessant incitement in the official Palestinian media and the mosques, which encourages people to commit terror attacks.

Opposition leader Yossi Sarid told the session it would be a mistake to think that the worldwide shock over last week's attacks in the U.S. will enable Israel to turn Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat into Osama bin Laden. It is no accident, he said, that it is the Americans who are now urging Israel and the PA to resume negotiations.

[Note: MK Tibi is the one misrepresenting the facts. The Arab demonstrations in support of the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not limited to a "handful of rash, stupid and ugly people" but rather consisted of large "Palestinian" Arab crowds throughout Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza and even significant "Israeli" Arabs crowds in such "Israeli" Arab towns as Um Al-Fahem.]



[Arab MK Barakeh essentially declares that because Jews live on land that Arabs seek to make Judenrein (cleansed of Jews), Jewish parents are responsible for their own children's murder at the hands of Arab terrorists]

(Arutz Sheva, October 3, 2001) Arab MKs Barakeh, Mahoul, Asana, and Tibi will meet with Arafat this afternoon in Ramallah. The meeting was supposed to have been held several days ago, but the security forces did not permit the MKs to enter PA areas. Barakeh said today that he regrets the deaths in Elei Sinai last night, "but Elei Sinai is one of the cruelest manifestations of the conquest, and the settlers are committing a crime when they bring their children to stand on the front." Elei Sinai is on the northernmost tip of the Gaza Strip.

In a related item, anonymous vandals set fire to the parliamentary office of Arab MK Taleb a-Sana in Beersheba, causing it heavy damage.

[Note: From the same October 3, 2001 issue of Arutz Sheva: "Three Arab terrorists infiltrated Elei Sinai, about ten kilometers south of Ashkelon, around 7:30 PM last night, shortly after the end of the holiday [of the first day of Sukkot]. They opened fire and threw grenades in all directions, killing the two and wounding sixteen others. These included two toddlers, 3 and 4 years old; 13 are still hospitalized, including one in serious but stable condition." And from the October 4, 2001 issue of the Jerusalem Post: "One of the Hamas terrorists was identified as Ibrahim Rayan and spoke in a videotape prepared prior to the attack of his intentions to 'kill Jewish terrorists.'" Apparently, MK Barakeh agrees with the murderer's characterization of the Jews of Elei Sinai. Yet, it is disingenuous for MK Barakeh to blame the location of this Jewish town for Arab attempts to annihilate its population. For, whatever MK Barakeh overtly declares about the consequences of Jews having the temerity to reside beyond Israel's 1949 armistice demarcation lines, he covertly believes about Jews having the temerity to live anywhere in the Land of Israel, all of which he considers to be an eternal Wakf (Islamic Trust).]



Arab MKs oppose US attack



(Jerusalem Post, October 8, 2001) Arab MKs criticized the American and British attack on Afghanistan Sunday, saying that the only way to stop aggression against the United States is to stop the Israeli occupation.

They said that attacks that harm Afghani civilians are unjustified and urged the United States to refrain from using military means in the fight against terrorism.

"What happened on September 11 was a heinous crime, but the answer isn't attacking a sovereign country in a manner that no doubt will result in the loss of more innocent lives," Arab Movement for Renewal MK Ahmed Tibi said.

"Instead of creating such a double standard, the US should attack the root of such actions. The Palestinian occupation causes frustration to every Arab and Muslim, causing many to respond in ways I personally find intolerable."

Hadash Chairman MK Mohammed Barakeh called on the US to stop bombing Afghanistan and instead act to end poverty in the Arab world and Israel's occupation.

"The American attacks spills oil on the flames of terror instead of solving the problem," Barakeh said. "The struggle against terror must focus on drying the swamp in which it thrives and not assaulting the innocent."

Balad MK Azmi Bishara said that the United States is wrong in believing that there is an international conspiracy of terrorists who want to attack the American way of life. Rather, the causes of terrorism need to be isolated in each case and the factors that brought it about must be rectified.

"The United States must undertake a rethinking of its policies on the Palestinians, not only from a tactical standpoint, but in a long-term strategic standpoint," Bishara said.

"[US President George W.] Bush has no strategic vision concerning what has to be changed. But there has to be a rethinking because it is one of the reasons for the bitterness against the United States." Bishara called upon the US to use political and economic means in the latter stages of the conflict.

He said that as a liberal, he is against such attacks because he sees it as "an exhibitionist action that costs civilian victims, without reaching a political solution of any sort."

"The Americans needed to do it for their own public opinion to restore their dignity," Bishara said. "But the most important thing is that civilians won't be hurt and we'll see whether that will be the case."

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Arab MK Azmi Bishara is hardly a "liberal". And he is certainly not a pacifist, or one who is against inflicting harm upon civilians -- at least if the victims are Jews. In fact, he has praised Hizbullah for "humiliating Israel" (Israelwire 6-8-00); he has paid a "solidarity visit" to an Arab imprisoned in London for plotting to blow up Israel's embassy there in 1994 (Al Hayat 9-19-00); he has given a speech in Syria -- a country which still maintains an official state of war against Israel, harbors Nazi war criminal Aloise Brunner, and provides a safe haven for numerous groups which perpetrate terror attacks against Jews and Israel -- before an audience comprised of representatives from Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and other terror organizations, during which he called upon Arab countries to unite in "resistance" activities against Israel (Ha'aretz 6-11-01); he has expressed agreement with Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa's declaration that the August 2001 machine gun terror attack in Tel Aviv was "an attack of special quality" for which "there can be no guilt feelings" (Jerusalem Post 8-7-01); and he has called Israel an "enemy" at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa (Arutz Sheva 8-30-01).]



(Arutz Sheva, October 8, 2001) "The U.S. never proved Bin Laden's connection to the Sept. 11 attacks," says MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe, and his colleague Muhammad Kenaan agrees: "I would have expected the Arab nations to more forcefully condemn the attack... The U.S. simply decided that it wants to liquidate Islam and the Moslems." But first and foremost among the Arab MKs condemning the American attack was MK Muhammad Barakeh, who said today that the American attack is "an attempt to intervene in a foreign regime... It fans the flames of terrorism, hits innocent people... The U.S. wants to stabilize its power and the distribution of world wealth in an unjust manner..."

The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, Syria, as well as the school for diplomats' children in the city. A spokesman said that the move was taken for fear of a terrorist attack. A leading Syrian newspaper published an article blaming Israel for the increase in world terrorism.



(Arutz Sheva, October 26, 2001) MK Tommy Lapid said that MK Issam Mahoul should be banned from several Knesset sessions for some of the remarks he made in the Knesset this week. Speaking to a largely empty Knesset on Wednesday, Mahoul said that the present government is an "anthrax government," and that "Sharon was right when he compared the current situation to Czechoslovakia [in which, just before World War II, the Western Powers sacrificed that democratic country to Nazi Germany in hopes of averting that very war], except that he made a mistake in which side he's on: He's really on the German side of the equation." Mahoul said that the Sharon government "loves death, with blood dripping from its lips." Mahoul tried to rile the few and silent MKs in the plenum by calling, "Why aren't you responding?" A video on the topic of Arab MKs' incitement can be seen on Arutz-7's homepage <>, or at "".



Arabs MKs injured in Tira protest over Trans-Israel Highway land



(Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2001) Three Arab MKs were among dozens of people injured when police and Border Police fought a pitched battle near [the Israeli Arab village of] Tira in the Triangle [region of the Galilee, occupied mainly by Israeli Arabs] Tuesday with stone-throwing rioters protesting the expropriation of farmland to make way for the new Trans-Israel Highway.

The violence erupted after highway company bulldozers began plowing land to lay the groundwork for the section of the road in the Tira and Taiba region, even though landowners had refused all offers of compensation.

The construction workers moved onto the site with heavy equipment in the morning, escorted by a large contingent of police and Border Police in case of any attempts to disrupt the work.

Hundreds of demonstrators confronted them and were joined by schoolchildren, including many teenagers.

The work continued despite the protests, and it appeared the day would pass relatively peacefully until demonstrators began pelting police with rocks and stones late in the afternoon. The police used their batons to stop the stone throwing and repel the rioters.

In the melee MKs Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) and Issam Mahoul (Hadash [Communist Party]) were lightly injured, along with several demonstrators and 15 police and border policemen.

There were reports Hadash leader MK Muhammad Barakei was also lightly hurt, although police maintained that the MKs or other civic leaders were never deliberately attacked.

Nevertheless, the Hadash faction called on Knesset Speaker MK Avraham Burg to condemn what it described as a vicious blow to the institution of the Knesset and not just to the MKs themselves. The party called for a full inquiry into the police handling of the disturbances.

Dep. Cmdr. Aharon Franco, head of the Sharon district, told Israel Radio the police were at the scene to ensure the work, which is legally authorized, went ahead without interference.

"We have been following the negotiations [over compensation to the land owners], and even while the work was going on negotiations took place," Franco told reporters.

"In fact, it was quiet throughout the day until, unfortunately, towards the evening when the MKs came and the result was a heavy barrage of stones on the police."

He said police had no other choice but to repel the demonstrators to stop the stonethrowing, as a result of which 15 policemen were injured."

Franco said from his inquiries into the incident no policeman had struck an MK.

"As far as I am aware there was no attack [on an MK] but that the opposite occurred and an MK struck a policeman," he said.

United Arab List MK Taleb a-Sanna, who also went to the scene, rejected the police version of events and accused them of acting with an "iron fist" against people he maintained were not intent on confrontation, but on protecting their land.

"Since 1948, more than 80 percent of the land in the cities of Taiba and Tira has been expropriated and there is a severe shortage of space now even for housing," he said.

He said residents want adequate compensation, similar to what landowners in Kafr Kassem received as part of the highway project. Instead, the government sent in bulldozers protected by police, he said.

"I warn that these policies and this mentality could lead to another October," said a-Sanna, referring to the riots in the Arab sector last October in which 13 Arabs and a Jew were killed.

Officials of the Cross-Israel Highway Company maintained residents had been offered compensation and a dunam of land for every dunam needed for the construction of the new road.

Some charged the Islamic Movement and MK Azmi Bishara's Balad Party were behind the refusal of residents to agree to the compensation offers other landowners in the Triangle area had accepted. These allegations were categorically denied by Arab leaders.

The mayors of Tira and Taiba are expected to meet with officials in the Prime Minister's office Wednesday after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed his willingness to intercede and help try to find a negotiated solution.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



Arab MKs accused of sabotaging efforts to free [Druze Israeli Arab] Azzam Azzam



(Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2001) The chairman of the Committee for the Release of Azzam Azzam caused a stir in the Knesset on Tuesday, when he accused Arab MKs of undermining the effort to free the Druse Israeli, who is imprisoned in Egypt on [fabricated] charges of espionage.

"Ten [Arab] MKs signed a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak nine months ago, saying that Azzam should not be released until the last of the Palestinian prisoners in Israel is set free," chairman Akram Hasson said, citing Egyptian press reports. He was speaking during a meeting between Azzam's family and the heads of the Knesset factions, on the fifth anniversary of Azzam's imprisonment.

Arab MKs strenuously denied the report, including Hadash leader Muhammad Barakei who called it "a wicked slander," and Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List), who said that such a letter would constitute "an interference in Egypt's internal affairs, which we respect Egypt too much to do."

The accusation sparked harsh words from the faction heads at the meeting. Coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim pledged he would find a way to prosecute MKs who signed the letter, if it indeed it existed.

"If the news is true, it is treachery," he said. MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) said that any Arab MK found to have signed such a letter "is a Hamas representative in the Knesset."

During the meeting, which was attended by members of Azzam's family including his wife and three of his four children, MKs pledged to send a delegation of faction heads to Mubarak to demand Azzam's release.

"We are here to tell Azzam that he is not alone, that the entire Knesset is united for his cause," said Minister without Portfolio Dan Naveh, who initiated the meeting. "He is innocent."

Labor faction chairman Effi Oshaya urged the government to "do more," saying he worried that Azzam was being "sacrificed in order to preserve our relations with Egypt. It is hard to look his children in the eye."

Although several Arab MKs were present, the Arab faction heads were notable by their absence.

Barakei claimed he was not invited, while Sanaa called the meeting "a media festival on the back of Azzam Azzam. It's a political affair which will not advance Azzam's cause."

Azzam's family said his mental and physical condition are deteriorating.

"He is still alive, but we are concerned that soon he will not be with us" said his brother, Sami.

Naveh, who visited Azzam in jail last month, described his living conditions as "horrendous. He has spent five years in a narrow cell, with only a mattress on the floor, no fridge to keep his food fresh, and he is in solitary confinement. Every day in prison is one day too many."

Azzam, 39, from the Galilee town of Maghar, was working in an Israeli-owned textile plant in the Egyptian capital when he was taken into custody and charged with espionage, along with Emad Abdel Hamid Ismail, an Egyptian national.

The indictment said Azzam confessed to receiving underwear soaked in invisible ink from Zahra Youssef Jreis and Mona Ahmed Shawahna, both residents of Nazareth.

He was sentenced in 1997 to 15 years' imprisonment.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post


[Arab MK A-Sana skips date with police for questioning on his alleged expression of support for a terror attack]

By Baruch Kra and Ori Nir

Ha'aretz, 7 November 2001

MK Talab A-Sana (United Arab List) yesterday declined to attend a scheduled meeting with police investigators. He was to have been questioned by police on suspicion of expressing support for a terror attack several weeks ago in Tel Aviv.

A-Sana said while asking to re-schedule yesterday's meeting, a police officer named Meir warned that if he did not show up at the station, his file would be submitted directly to Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein with a recommendation for indictment.

This comment, said A-Sana, proves the police are biased and so the MK has written a letter to Rubinstein, demanding that responsibility for the investigation of his case be transferred to a different police team "that has no pre-existing opinions or biases."

Following a gun attack at the city's Kirya military base, A-Sana said in an interview with Abu Dhabi television that "this was an act of special quality, since it was not directed against civilians - it was aimed against soldiers in the heart of the state of Israel. Israelis must understand that if there is no security for Palestinians, there can be no security for them either ... there are no feelings of guilt in this instance, and we are not going to indulge in special pleading and apologies."

Rubinstein instructed police to investigate whether A-Sana illegally articulated support for a terrorist investigation and they summoned the MK for questioning.


Interview Hadash MK Mohammad Barakeh "I support and agree to all action that is opposition to the Occupation"

IMRA interviewed Hadash MK Mohammad Barakeh, in Hebrew, on 7 November 2001.

IMRA: I hear all kinds of stories in the media that claim that you support terror, Hizbullah, all kind of things and I wanted to ask...

Barakeh: Who said this?

IMRA: There was a report on Arutz 7. An MK also said that you support Hizbullah. So I thought that the best thing to do was to pick up the phone and ask you directly.

Barakeh: There is a proposal that passed its first reading today in the Knesset that prohibits what are called "lists that support terror" from running in the Knesset elections.

IMRA: Without defining what supporting terror is?

Barakeh: Without any definition. In accordance with a list that will be made by the ISS (Shabak) with the certification of the prime minister. The ISS [formerly known as the GSS -- General Security Service] and prime minister will set which organizations are terror organizations.

IMRA: I understand. That is to say organizations and not actions. . .

Barakeh: Both. Two proposals passed. One covers actions and one covers organizations. This is a serious matter that gives the government the opportunity to wipe out all of its political opponents.

IMRA: Opposition to the government is the same thing as support for various organizations?

Barakeh: It gives the government a tool that will prevent all of the opponents of the government from running for election. That is in the future. But in the meantime it is directed towards the Arab citizens and Jewish citizens who support the just peace.

That is to say, that according to the thinking of those who submitted the law, those who support the PLO and the right of the Palestinian people to liberate themselves from the occupation are considered supporting terror.

IMRA: I want to understand. You see yourself as someone who supports. . .

Barakeh: I support the struggle of the Palestinian People in their struggle to be liberated from the Occupation.

IMRA: Via all means?

Barakeh: That they should have an independent state.

IMRA: Via all means?

Barakeh: In accordance with international law. International law clearly defines the rights of a nation under occupation. I am, of course, against attacks that hurt the innocent. And I have condemned them. Those who proposed the law have never condemned the murder of a Palestinian child, and I at least have made sure to condemn any attacks on innocents in Israel.

IMRA: IDF soldiers in the occupied territories do not fall within the category of "innocents"?

Barakeh: All opposition to the occupation. I support and agree to all action that is opposition to the occupation -- according to international law. There will not a law for the State of Israel for the occupation that is different from the occupation in any other state. International law is very clear. It gives the nation living under occupation the right to struggle against the Occupation.

IMRA: I simply want to understand. That is to say that an action against soldiers in the occupied territories. . .

Barakeh: It is not an action against soldiers -- it is an action against the Occupation.

IMRA: OK. But from a practical standpoint, someone who carries out an action against soldiers. . .

Barakeh: I think that to the same extent that the Palestinian People wants to liberate itself from the occupation it is also the interest of the Israeli People to be liberated from the occupation of the Palestinian People.

IMRA: I understand. From a practical standpoint. . .

Barakeh: International law sets that a nation under occupation has the right to struggle against the Occupation and I do not want to play the game of the fascists in Israel. As if the Occupier is the dove of peace.

IMRA: That is to say that it includes among other things paramilitary operations against the Occupier.

Barakeh: Every action against the Occupation is a legitimate action. These laws are the start of the establishment of an apartheid regime in the State of Israel.

IMRA: I just wanted to ask you: the letter from Yasser Arafat to Yitzhak Rabin of September 9, 1993 states that "The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations [. . .the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence.]" . This is also repeated in later agreements. In terms of the rules of the game, as representative of the Palestinian People didn't Arafat forfeit the right to use force?

Barakeh: I think that if there is an agreement that is signed by him and there are commitments by the two sides then both parties have to fulfill their obligations. The Government of Israel never completely fulfilled its obligations. But I want to say beyond this. If Yasser Arafat committed and the Government of Israel committed, then they have to honor their commitments. But the Occupation in and of itself is a brutal act.

IMRA: I understand that, but here we have a simple point: You see Yasser Arafat as legally having the mandate to forfeit the right to fight the Occupation via other [than diplomatic] means?

Barakeh: He has the mandate as the leader of the national Palestinian Movement if he chooses to make such a commitment then he has a complete mandate to make a commitment to it. But this does not take away from the basic right of the Palestinian People -- or any people under Occupation -- to struggle against Ocupation.

IMRA: Wait a minute. That is to say that if you negotiate with a leader and he signs things then . . .

Barakeh: Then the commitments have to be honored.

IMRA: But this doesn't commit his nation? They can go on [and continue using violence]?

Barakeh: No. If there is a commitment then there is a commitment. And they have to fulfill their commitment. But you cannot demand that only the Palestinians fulfill their commitments. The first redeployment was never completed -- not to mention [the] Mitchell [Plan] and [the division of the city of] Jerusalem in which Israel hasn't done anything.

[Note: "Every action against the Occupation is a legitimate action." Barakeh, a member of Israel's parliament, endorses the murder of Israeli soldiers as long as their murders can be described as an "action against the Occupation". Now follow Barakeh's further logic: He posits that the "Palestinian" people are morally permitted to continue murdering Jews, despite their solemn commitment to cease doing so, because Israel eventually stopped further unilateral withdrawals from Judea, Samaria and Gaza in response to the never-ended "Palestinian" campaign of murdering Jews.]



Bishara stripped of immunity, may face prosecution



(Jerusalem Post, November 8, 2001) The Knesset voted Wednesday to remove Balad leader Azmi Bishara's parliamentary immunity, so that he can stand trial for making speeches praising Hizbullah and for arranging illegal trips to Syria for Israeli Arabs.

The unprecedented decisions passed with majorities of 61-30 and 65-24, making Bishara the first MK to have his immunity removed for words, not deeds. Soon after the vote, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein confirmed he intends to press charges.

"Removing Bishara's immunity is a great achievement, which will increase our security," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said as he left the Knesset plenum. "Democracy has to protect itself."

Coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim (Likud) said the government has "determined new rules for the game. The Knesset has said no to Hizbullah and to supporters of [Osama] bin Laden, and yes to the rule of law. The story of 'Bishara Tours' is over."

Bishara, who has always denied encouraging violence, charged the decision to remove his immunity was political

"It comes exactly at the time when there is a very extreme nationalistic feeling in this country," he said.

He called it "an irony of history" that "great democrats like the supporters of [Shas mentor] Ovadia Yosef should be the ones to lift my immunity."

Despite encouragement from other Arab MKs, Bishara said he would not appeal to the High Court of Justice, because "it is the job of the Knesset to protect its members, not the job of the court."

However, he vowed to defend himself if Rubinstein prosecutes him, leading Opposition leader Yossi Sarid (Meretz) to warn that Bishara will turn his trial into an indictment of Israeli democracy.

"It is hard to tolerate Bishara's despicable words, but it is out of place to turn him into the hero of all of Israel's enemies," he said. "His words will be forgotten, but his trial will be remembered."

Despite his position as chairman of the Knesset House Committee, which earlier this week recommended the removal of Bishara's immunity, MK Yossi Katz (Labor) appealed to the Knesset before the vote not to side against Bishara.

"There are 119 losers from this saga, and only one winner - Azmi Bishara - whom you are turning, unjustly, into a national hero and a martyr."

He said harming MKs basic right of freedom of speech, the Knesset is creating a dangerous precedent.

"Today it's Bishara," he said. "Tomorrow it will be [Herut MK Michael] Kleiner and [National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor] Lieberman."

Some Labor MKs voted to remove Bishara's immunity.

Arab MKs were incensed by the vote.

"The decision signals a dangerous trend of negating the legitimacy and the representatives of Arab Israelis," said Hadash leader Muhammad Barakei.

He said he will initiate an urgent meeting of the Arab leadership's monitoring committee, in order to discuss the immunity issue and the steps that must be taken in face of what he called dangerous and anti-democratic trends against Israeli Arabs.

"This is a black day for the Israeli democracy," said MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal). He said the leader of Austria's Freedom Party, Jorg Haider, would be proud. "There are several Haiders in this Knesset," Tibi said.

Boim said Arab MKs who continually complain about Israeli racism and fascism are those who get their values from the darkest regimes.

Bishara now faces two charges. The first is arranging the visits of some 800 Israeli Arabs to Syria, mostly to visit relatives.

The second involves two speeches. On the first anniversary of the death of Syrian president Hafez Assad, Bishara spoke at a ceremony in Syria also attended by Hizbullah secretary-general Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and Palestinian rejectionist leaders.

He called upon the Arab world to unite against the "warmongering Sharon government."

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Labor Party MK Yossi Katz warned that: "Today it's Bishara. Tomorrow it will be Kleiner and Lieberman." MK Katz, a leader of the Left, meant that the Knesset was creating a dangerous anti-democratic precedent which, Today, was being used to stifle the hard Left but which, Tomorrow, could just as well be used to stifle the hard Right. But his memory is too short; and he, consequently, misspoke. He should have, instead, declared: "Yesterday it was Kahane. Today it's Bishara." But he is a hypocrite; and, consequently, he failed to acknowledge the true precedent which was set 13 years ago -- the banning of the hard Right Kach Party and its sole MK, Rabbi Meir Kahane, in 1988. Israel's Left can hardly cry tears for the suppression of Balad MK Azmi Bishara's freedom of speech when it not only failed to defend, but was the main suppressor of, Kach MK Rabbi Meir Kahane's freedom of speech.]



Second Arab MK questioned concerning seditious remarks



(Jerusalem Post, November 9, 2001) The day after the Knesset lifted the immunity of MK Azmi Bishara (Balad) for making speeches praising Hizbullah actions against Israel, Jerusalem police questioned MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List) for more than two hours Thursday afternoon on suspicion of sedition. A-Sanaa had allegedly voiced support for a Palestinian shooting attack outside Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv in August and written a letter to the Arab League urging that Mauritania be ostracized for maintaining ties with Israel.

Following the machine-gun assault at the intersection near the Defense Ministry offices and the Azrieli Center that wounded eight soldiers and two civilians, a-Sanaa said in an interview with Abu Dhabi television that "this was an act of special quality, since it was not directed against civilians - it was aimed against soldiers in the heart of the state of Israel. Israelis must understand that if there is no security for Palestinians, there can be no security for them either... There are no feelings of guilt in this instance, and we are not going to indulge in special pleading and apologies."

After the interview, which was rebroadcast on Israel Television and sent shock waves through the Jewish public in Israel, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein instructed police to investigate whether a-Sanaa broke the law when he expressed support for a terrorist attack.

"There is no country in the world which would be prepared to tolerate a statement from one of its legislators which regards an attempt to kill soldiers in the middle of its cities as legitimate, whatever his political point of view," said Rubinstein at the time.

A-Sanaa had been summoned to appear at the main Jerusalem police station on Tuesday of this week but failed to report, raising concern on the part of Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau. A-Sanaa said Thursday that he had answered the interrogators' questions but did not intend to return for any further questioning.

"I am very busy man," he said. "The police would be better off doing their job and not harassing Arab members of Knesset."

A-Sanaa maintained that both his media interview and letter to the Arab League were legitimate political actions that in no way could be considered criminal offenses.

"It is no secret that Arab MKs are not Zionists, but rather see themselves as Palestinian Arabs," a-Sanaa said. He also accused Rubinstein of the "political persecution" of Arab MKs, adding that "the attorney-general's political views are determining his decisions."

Jerusalem Post Staff and Itim contributed to this report.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



(Arutz Sheva, November 9, 2001) ... A large [Israeli Arab] Islamic Movement gathering was to be held today in the [Israeli Arab] Bedouin town of Rahat, in the Negev, in solidarity with the Afghan nation. The motto of the gathering: "The American and British Crusade Against the Afghan Nation." [Israeli] Arab MKs were scheduled to take part.



(Arutz Sheva, November 11, 2001) Israeli Arab MKs are unhappy with the stripping of parliamentary immunity from their colleague Azmi Bishara for the anti-Israeli remarks he made a few months ago in Syria [a nation which is still in a formal state of war with Israel]. Nor are they thrilled with new legislation in the process of being passed preventing supporters of Palestinian terrorism from running for the Knesset. Several of the MKs met in Nazareth yesterday and planned a series of steps to protest the new decrees. "Israel is turning into a Judocracy," said MK Taleb A-Sana, " a democracy only for Jews. They say that we are criminals because of our opinions." Their "opinions" include expressing support for the intifada and for acts of martyrdom [suicide attacks] against Jews.



(Arutz Sheva, November 12, 2001) The State Prosecution filed an indictment against MK Azmi Bishara in the Jerusalem Magistrates Court today. Bishara is charged with support of the Hizbullah terrorist organization and [illegally] helping 19 groups of Israeli Arabs travel to Syria [a nation which is still in a formal state of war with Israel]. The Knesset stripped Bishara of his parliamentary immunity last week.

Today's indictment states that on two separate occasions -- once in [the Israeli Arab village of] Um el-Fahm commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Six-Day War, and once in Syria on the first anniversary of Hafez el-Assad's death -- Bishara publicly identified with Hizbullah, praised it for its terrorist activities, and called upon the Palestinians to adopt the same methods against Israel.



Landau: Some Arab MKs are agents of PA



(November 15, 2001) Relations between Jewish and Arab MKs, already strained after the Knesset stripped [Arab MK] Balad leader Azmi Bishara of immunity last week, suffered another blow yesterday. Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau charged from the podium that some Arab MKs are "agents of the Palestinian Authority in the Knesset."

"You cooperate with the PA in its struggle against the State of Israel and attack Israel's democracy," Landau thundered. "You accuse Israel of discrimination and occupation, as if it is your population which is being harmed. Without shame, you travel to Syria, to the PA areas, meet with its representatives."

His comments provoked pandemonium, with [Arab MK] Issam Mahoul (Hadash) shouting, "You are the minister for thugs, the minister for internal terrorism!" and [Arab MK] Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) calling Landau a "terror-supporting fascist."

"Take your words back! Retract them!" chanted Mahoul, along with Tamar Gozansky (Hadash) and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz).

Deputy Speaker Maxim Levy (Gesher), who was presiding, was unable to contain the commotion and expelled four Arab MKs from the plenum in quick succession. He also expelled Eliezer Cohen (Yisrael Beiteinu-National Union), who almost came to blows with [Arab MK] Muhammad Kana'an (United Arab List) on his way out. According to eyewitness reports, Kana'an threatened to "teach Cohen a lesson," and the two had to be separated by ushers.

In a fiery speech, [Arab MK] Hashem Mahameed (United Arab List) accused Landau of advocating the murder of Arab MKs. "If I am an agent of the PLO or of Hizbullah, you can murder me. That is what is what you are saying," he yelled at Landau. "You are inciting against us, with no shame, objecting to our citizenship and our membership in the Knesset!"

Levy twice asked Landau to retract his remarks, but in vain. Landau later backed down somewhat, however, saying he was talking about "Arafat supporters in the Knesset, not agents."

The verbal melee took place during a debate on a bill, initiated by Mahameed, to guarantee equal treatment of Jewish and Arab prisoners. Landau claimed that equality exists, and Arab MKs asked him about Ami Popper, who had gunned down seven Palestinian workers in May 1990 and had his seven life sentences commuted to 40 years, and Yoram Skolnik, who killed a suspected terrorist in 1993, and was freed earlier this year. Landau responded with his accusations.

Mahameed's bill was eventually rejected 48-22.

Right-wing MKs largely backed Landau after the session. "He described the situation just as it is," said coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim. He accused Arab MKs of "trying to control the plenum by shouting, not allowing anyone else to speak. Those who support great democracies like Syria, Iran, and the PA will not teach us about democracy."

Mahameed, however, appealed to Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein to investigate Landau, and opposition leader Yossi Sarid (Meretz) said he was asking the Ethics Committee to look into Landau's remarks. "If Landau has proof that one of the Arab MKs is a foreign agent, let him go to court and prove it. If he has no evidence, he cannot slander MKs, even if they are Arabs," Sarid said.

Arab MKs portrayed the incident as part of an ongoing effort by MKs on the Right to delegitimize them.

"The manifestations of incitement against the Arab MKs, who represent the authentic views of the Arab population, are not over," said [Arab MK] Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List). "I am afraid that those who are against us have become a majority in the Knesset, even some ministers."

A-Sanaa called on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was present during the turmoil, to fire Landau "immediately. He cannot represent all the citizens of this country."

Bishara said that what disturbed him most was that "Landau made his remarks... in premeditated fashion." Calling political rivals "spies" is "a fascist tactic which is used in Europe as well," he added. "[Leader of the French National Front Jean-Marie] Le Pen would be considered mainstream here."

On Monday, Bishara told a protest meeting that "the Knesset is marching toward apartheid. They want docile Arabs, like they had in the 1950s, but those Arabs are no longer around. Step by step, law by law, the Right is competing to see who can incite more against the Arabs."

The meeting had been called to discuss the "attack on democracy," after the Knesset last week removed Bishara's immunity and approved on first reading a bill which would exclude from the Knesset those who express support for an armed struggle against the state. Although dozens of local council heads, human rights activists, and others were expected, less than 15 showed up.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: With respect to the Arab MKs' recurrent claims of disparate treatment between Jewish and Arab prisoners, it is pointed out that many Arab prisoners have had their sentences extinguished during Ramadan and that many Arab prisoners have been similarly released as part of the illusory "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. For the sake of accuracy, the Arab killed by Yoram Skolnick was not a "suspected" terrorist; on the contrary, having already attempted to murder a Jew with a knife, he was, in fact, a confirmed terrorist. Finally, with respect to Leftist MK Yossi Sarid's high-minded declaration that: "If Landau has proof that one of the Arab MKs is a foreign agent, let him go to court and prove it. If he has no evidence, he cannot slander MKs, even if they are Arabs", please read the next news item recounting how, during a Knesset session held less than a week after the foregoing session, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi called Ariel Sharon, an MK and the Prime Minister of Israel, a "bloodsucking dictator". Needless to say, MK Sarid did not feel moved, after this latter diatribe, to remind MK Tibi that MKs shouldn't slander each other -- even if the target of the slander is from the Right (and also happens to be the highest elected official in the country).]



Tibi calls Sharon a 'bloodsucking dictator'



(Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2001) [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) caused a storm in the Knesset when he called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "a bloodsucking dictator" during a debate on anti-Semitism.

Tibi mentioned the anti-Semitic Abu Dhabi skit, which aired on the second most popular television station in the Arab world over the weekend. It depicted a character meant to be Sharon drinking the blood of Arab children.

He asked whether Foreign Minister Shimon Peres's plan to lodge a formal complaint with the UN was "an exaggeration".

"Turning Sharon into a monster is not an exaggeration?" responded Shaul Yahalom (National Religious Party).

"I don't write these satires, but I can explain to you that Ariel Sharon's image in the Arab world is 10 times worse than a monster. In their eyes, he is a bloodsucking dictator. That is my opinion about him, and that is the opinion of the Arab world," Tibi said..

Yahalom demanded that Tibi's speech be curtailed, but Deputy Speaker Yehudit Naot refused to force Tibi off the podium, saying that she is "in favor of freedom of expression."

Meanwhile Ambassador to UNESCO Yitzhak Eldan yesterday called on the organization to condemn the skit.

In a letter, Yitzhak Eldan wrote that it is incumbent upon the organization to "condemn this despicable hate and incitement program, and to instigate an effort to promote the spirit of compromise and tolerance so enshrined in the organization's foundations."

By doing so, Eldan wrote, UNESCO would be true to its credo, "since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed."

He did not only refer to Friday night's skit, but also to the first segment of the program that aired a few days earlier, entitled "I Hate Israel," a reference to a popular Egyptian song of the same name that was a major hit earlier this year.

"In the Middle East, we need goodwill and dialogue, not hate and incitement," the letter read. "Virulent anti-Semitism caused untold suffering to millions of innocent people only half a century ago. UNESCO came into being to prevent such an occurrence from happening again."

The Foreign Ministry said that Proctor & Gamble, which ran advertisements on the show, has withdrawn the ads. The Italian firm Ferraro, which makes Kinder chocolate, also pulled its ads.


[Arab MK Muhammad Kanaan expresses support for Osama Bin Laden]

Jerusalem Report, November 19, 2001, The Israeli Islamic Movement: How Grave A Threat? [Excerpt]

By: Isabel Kershner

... At the first Israeli Arab demonstration held in support of the people of Afghanistan and against the U.S. military campaign there [which was initiated by the United States in response to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks], in the Galilee town of Tamra on October 20 [, 2001], Knesset member Muhammad Kanaan of the [southern wing of Israel's] Islamic Movement questioned the true identity of the Twin Towers [World Trade Center] attackers and sent his greetings to Osama bin Laden, as organizer Sheikh Raed [Salah, leader of the northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel,] smiled over his right shoulder. ...



Sharon calls for probe of [Arab MKs] Tibi, Barakeh



(Jerusalem Post, November 23, 2001) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and many MKs on the Right have called on Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein to open an investigation against Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh on suspicion of contact with a foreign agent and a terrorist group.

Tibi and Barakeh said they met with Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine deputy secretary-general Abdel Rahim Maluah on Wednesday night in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's office in Ramallah.

The PFLP, which is on the Israeli and American lists of terror groups, claimed responsibility for the assassination of tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi last month.

"The PFLP is a terrorist organization, and I think that anyone who meets with terror groups that carry out murders and attacks needs to be dealt with as the law requires," Sharon said in a meeting with Likud activists at the party's headquarters.

Deputy National Infrastructure Minister Naomi Blumenthal and MKs Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party) each wrote Rubinstein Thursday asking him to investigate the two Arab MKs after the story broke on the Web site of Yediot Aharonot.

Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) told Channel 1 Thursday night that he and Barakeh went to Ramallah to meet with Arafat, and Maluah happened to be present. He said they discussed diplomacy, US Secretary of State Colin Powell's initiatives, and the state of tension.

"Maluah is an important Palestinian political leader and intellectual, and I am glad to have him as my friend," Tibi said. "As far as I know, he is not wanted by the Israeli government, but even if he were, I would not have to act according to the rules of the IDF."

Blumenthal said the behavior of Tibi and Barakeh has crossed all boundaries of decency, and the public has grown sick of it. Citing the recent decision by the Knesset to remove Balad MK Azmi Bishara's immunity to facilitate a criminal investigation, Blumenthal said Arab MKs have become a "bridge to terror" instead of the "bridges to peace" everyone had hoped for.

Coalition chairman MK Ze'ev Boim said the meeting was a dangerous identification with a terror organization responsible for the murder of an Israeli minister.

"The meeting of Tibi and Barakeh with Arafat and Maluah is a meeting between the political force of terror, Tibi and Barakeh, and its military wing, Arafat and the deputy [of the PFLP]," Herut MK Michael Kleiner said.

National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman condemned their meeting, and said his party would work to prevent Tibi and Barakeh from running in the next Knesset election.

Tension between Arab MKs and their colleagues in the Knesset on the Right has escalated in recent months.

Likud MK Yisrael Katz succeeded in passing a bill on its first reading last month aimed at excluding from the Knesset political parties or individuals who express "support for the armed struggle of an enemy country or terrorist organization against the State of Israel."

Channel 2 reported Thursday night that Katz told a rally of supporters of former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he is afraid of United Arab List MK Abdel-Malik Dehamshe.

"He wants to be a martyr for al-Aksa," Katz said "I'll tell you the truth. When I see him enter the Knesset, I always have to check if the bulge in his coat is natural or whether he is planning something."

Opposition leader Yossi Sarid said there are MKs who want relations between Jews and Arabs to explode, and Katz is one of the most dangerous.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



(WAFA, December 8, 2001) President Arafat to the Palestinians in Israel:

"Our strategic choice is to achieve peace with the Israelis"

"We are the victims and we need International protection"

"We kneel in submission only to the Almighty God"

Ea'belin/Galilee, December 8th, Wafa, Addressing the "Solidarity Rally" for President Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian people in their struggle against occupation, President Yasser Arafat emphasized yesterday via phone, that peace with the Israelis is our strategic choice, according to what have been agreed upon in Madrid and afterwards and the International legitimacy".

Many Arab and Palestinian figures participated yesterday, in this "Supporting Festival" that was held by the Israeli Palestinian political party "Movement for Change" headed by [Arab MK] Dr. Ahmad Tibi, also Egyptian and Jordanian Diplomats, and Israeli Palestinian political, social, religious (Muslim and Christian) figures participated in this event of solidarity, where President Arafat also said: "we are the victims and we need an International protection, we have legitimate rights, and we do not know how to kneel except for God the Almighty".

Hereby some selected quotes from the speech:

"Dear beloved, you who stood alongside with your brothers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in their struggle for independence and peace according to the International legitimacy and the UN resolutions 242, 338 ,425, and the resolution for the refugees 194. Your standing with your people at the time when we have lost over 1900 martyrs and over 39000 wounded and our infrastructure, civil establishments and civilians, assures and strengthen us. Therefore I here do reaffirm our commitment to the "Peace of the Brave" that I have cosigned with my late partner Yitshak Rabin according to all resolutions and agreements related to this issue. "

From the other side, [Arab MK] Dr. Tibi said that every occupied nation has the legitimate right to resist and fight back the occupation until removed.

[Arab] MK Muhammad Baraka warned Sharon that if something should happen to President Arafat's life or well being, then all restrictions and boundaries will fall.

Dr. Mazen Altal the Jordanian representative said that Jordan, King and people support President Arafat and the Palestinian people, until establishing their independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its Capital.



(Arutz Sheva, December 17, 2001) Arab Knesset Members Muhammed Barakeh and Ahmed Tibi met with Yasser Arafat in Ramallah today in a show of support for the PLO leader. Following the meeting, the two MKs incited a riot at the nearby IDF A-Ram checkpoint on the northern border of the capital. Soldiers manning the roadblock say that MK Tibi spat at them and cursed them, and then incited Arabs there to a violent riot. Security forces dispersed the mob by firing their weapons in the air. Police and the army are investigating the incident. In September, 1987, Dr. Tibi was dismissed from the Hadassah hospital medical staff for striking a guard at the hospital entrance.



Soldier says MK Barakei spit at him



(Jerusalem Post, December 19, 2001) An IDF soldier lodged an official complaint with Jerusalem police Tuesday against [Arab] MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash), after Barakei allegedly spat in his face when asked for his ID at a checkpoint.

It was the third complaint lodged against Barakei by a soldier or policeman in the last six months.

Jerusalem police spokesman Kobi Zrihen confirmed Tuesday that such a complaint had been received from a soldier.

Barakei, who is already under police investigation for slapping a policeman outside the Interior Ministry in east Jerusalem, Tuesday denied that he spat in the soldier's face.

The incident in question occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Kalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem.

Corp. Elad Abutbul, 19, was checking the identity cards of Palestinians heading back to Ramallah from the Jerusalem area. Because of the Id al-Fitr holiday, there was an especially long line.

Suddenly Barakei walked past him, without flashing an identity card or his VIP card.

The soldier asked for identification, at which time Barakei allegedly snapped at him: "Who are you at all?"

In an interview from his base, Abutbul said: "I asked him again for his ID card, and he approached me and spat in my face. I was shocked; never in my whole service have I ever encountered such a thing."

Barakei then began swearing at the soldiers, witnesses said, and a crowd of onlookers, including MK Ahmed Tibi, gathered.

Feeling threatened, a second soldier on duty fired a shot in the air, but succeeded to only further stir the tensions. Eventually several officers, including the battalion commander, arrived and managed to restore calm.

"I have lived with Arabs all my life," said Abutbul, from Acre, "but have never encountered such beastly behavior."

Barakei said that he felt "threatened" by the shot, and charged that the soldier had called him "a zero" and cursed his family. Abutbul and his colleague denied the charges.

Calling the incident both grave and disturbing, battalion commander Lt.-Col. David Bloomenfeld said that he felt it was of the utmost importance to lodge the police complaint.

"As a military man, I would like to say that it is a great shame and extremely frustrating that a soldier in the IDF should be put in this sort of situation by an MK," Bloomenfeld said in an interview at his office Tuesday.

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post



Naveh rape comment sparks Knesset tumult

[Arab MKs slander Jewish MK in order to defend Yasser Arafat's honor]



(Jerusalem Post, Decemer 27, 2001) MKs clashed bitterly in the Knesset Wednesday, after Minister without Portfolio Dan Naveh accused Palestinian Authority security officials of sexually assaulting Christian girls in Beit Jalla.

During the session, five Arab MKs were removed from the plenum, Deputy Speaker Yehiel Lasri (Center) called in the Knesset Guard, and proceedings were suspended for five minutes.

The storm broke out during a debate on the government's decision not to allow Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to travel to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

"Arafat stayed in Ramallah for the simple reason that he is not a Christian saint, but a Muslim terrorist," Naveh said in a response on behalf of the government.

The statement provoked a barrage of catcalls, and Naveh, attempting to illustrate that Arafat and his men are no friends of the Christians, made the allegation of sexual assault which, he said, "Arafat's men did nothing to stop."

MKs Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Renewal) and MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) responded with cries that Naveh is "garbage," "an inciter," and "lowest of the low."

When Barakei and MK Uri Ariel (National Union-Tekuma) approached each other, Barakei shouted at Ariel, "Get out of here, garbage."

After a five-minute break called by Lasri, who was chairing his first Knesset session, Naveh repeated his statements, claiming they originated in a report in the Hebrew daily Ma'ariv.

"What you just said in the plenum is hurtful, insulting, humiliating, and not worthy of your arguments," MK Yossi Paritzky (Shinui) told Naveh, leaving the hall in protest with MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor).

"You are embarrassing the state of Israel, you are messed up in the head," added MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz).

Minutes later, MK Taleb a-Sanaa (Arab Democratic Party), now at the podium, called Naveh "a miserable racist and fascist," and when he refused to take back his words, the Knesset Guard forcefully removed him. "Naveh was allowed to incite from the podium, but the second we start to speak, they shut us up," a-Sanaa told The Jerusalem Post.

The Knesset voted to refer the debate to the Ethics Committee.

Following the session, Barakei called Naveh "Danny Nazi" and Tibi called him "Danny Goebbels." "We are used to hearing allegations of rape from other sources, namely Nazi propaganda," said Barakei. "This was an unprecedented deterioration. Naveh is trying to build his name by attacking Arabs. It is time that the Knesset threw out such miserable creatures.

"There are levels to which we cannot sink," added Tibi, "but we just hit the lowest of the low."

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: MK Naveh attacked, not an Arab MK nor the Arab citizenry of Israel, but only a foreign Arab tyrant who is presently conducting a jihad against the State of Israel. Accordingly, there is no moral symmetry between MK Naveh's "slander" of Yasser Arafat and Arab MKs' slander of their fellow (albeit Jewish) MK. Firstly, it is a fact that "Palestinian" Muslim thugs, some of them members of the Palestinian Authority security agencies -- with little interference from Arafat -- have been periodically intimidating and otherwise mistreating (including, on occasion, raping) "Palestinian" Christians since 1994-1995 -- the time frame when most "Palestinian" Christian areas first came under Palestinian Authority control -- thereby initiating a large Christian exodus from these areas -- so much so that traditionally Christian Arab towns such as Ramallah and Bethlehem are now mostly Muslim. (By the way, the particular account to which MK Naveh referred in his Knesset remarks was authored by reporter Hanan Shlein and appeared in the December 24, 2001 edition of Maariv, one of Israel's mainstream daily newspapers.) Secondly, even if Naveh is wrong about Arafat, he is merely slandering an enemy of the State of Israel, which is no crime. After all -- since Arafat has more Jewish blood on his hands than any Jew-hater since Adolf Hitler -- the fact that Arafat may not have turned a blind eye to the persecution of "Palestinian" Christians by "Palestinian" Muslims hardly requires Jewish MKs to refer to Arafat with respect. However, when Arab MKs so vociferously assault MK Naveh for his condemnation of Arafat, they openly demonstrate that their sole allegiance is to a murderer of Jews and an enemy of the State of Israel (especially since they did not even attempt to refute the substance of MK Naveh's charges). The fact that some Leftist Jewish MKs agree with their Arab colleagues constitutes a sad commentary on their inability to view a serial murderer of Jews as an enemy of the State of Israel.]


Interview: Hadash MK Issam Makhoul: Palestinians can kill armed settlers

Aaron Lerner Date: 1 January, 2001

Background: The following is the text of Proposed Law 4794B presented by Hadash [Arab] MK Issam Makhoul, [Arab MK] Mohammad Barakeh and [Jewish MK] Tamar Gozansky, presented to the Knesset on 31.12.2001 [January 31, 2001]:

3215/P: Proposed Law to Amend the Order for Preventing Terror (Struggle Against Occupation), 2001

Amendment to Paragraph 1: 1. In the Order for Preventing Terror 1948, at the end of the definition of "terror organization" will come:

 Excepting a group of people who struggle against the occupation that do not carry out one of the following:

 (1) Acts of violence that may cause the death or wounding of a person directed towards someone who is not among the security forces.

 (2) Threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.


 IMRA interviewed Hadash [Arab] MK Issam Makhoul, in Hebrew, on 1 January 2002:

 IMRA: I had a question about your proposed law. I see in the text the line "someone who is not among the security forces". What is the status of settlers in this law? Are they considered as being among the security forces?

 Makhoul: These are things that should be clarified more when we make preparations in committee for the first and second reading. The proposed law does not say that there should or should not be opposition to the occupation, and things that are a part of the occupation such as the opening of a bypass road, confiscation of land, settlements. The proposed law addresses the question as to whether opposition to the occupation is terror. From that standpoint it is not terror.

 IMRA: There is a subparagraph and I will read it to you: "Acts of violence that may cause the death or wounding of a person directed towards someone who is not among the security forces". Are settlers considered as a group that is "among the security forces"?

Makhoul: Armed settlers who carry out hostile acts -- yes.

IMRA: A settler who drives in his car and carries a weapon.

Makhoul: What can I tell you. I will be more concrete. From my standpoint blowing up a bus in Haifa or Jerusalem or blowing up the Sbarro restaurant is considered terror, and the action at Alei Sinai [a Jewish town in the Gaza Strip where two Jewish teenagers were shot dead by Arab terrorists] was an act of war within occupied territory that was not terror.

IMRA: I am relating to what is written here. Subparagraph 1. According to the text you proposed are settlers considered "among the security forces"? A settler who carries a weapon in his car is considered "among the security forces"?

Makhoul: Look, armed people are part of the occupation forces. The basic matter in this proposed law that should be taken into account is that there is considerable hypocrisy in the reaction to it after the proposed law by Yisrael Katz that a party list that supports a terror organization cannot run for the Knesset. We are, after all, trying to have the law be in accordance with international law. Everyone is going wild on this.

IMRA: A bus of settler children. . .

Makhoul: Look, for me this is something that is unforgivable. But I am talking about people who are carrying out activities that are part of the Occupation.

IMRA: Are you aware of any Palestinian group that would qualify via this amendment for removal from the terrorist classification? The moment you say that an action against children who are settlers is an act of terror . . .

Makhoul: It is not part of the rules of the game.

IMRA: Then is there any Palestinian organization that would qualify to be removed from the terrorist classification [on the basis that it limits itself to attacking Israeli soldiers]?

Makhoul: Of course. Almost all the elements of the PLO -- first of all -- are for peace, and struggle for the end of the Occupation. As long as their activities are within this framework, then it is not to be considered terror. It may be considered an act of violence, and it could be considered something not to be done, but it is not an act of terror.

IMRA: I get it. Someone who wipes out a bus of [Jewish] children [who are part of the Occupation by virtue of their residence in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip] would be engaged in something considered an act of violence but not an act of terror.

Makhoul: No a bus of children is an act of terror.

IMRA: So you are not thinking of Fatah Tanzim [who have murdered Israeli civilians, including children] but some other group inside Fatah? I am trying to think of the subgroups of Fatah, which subgroup would have that description [of not attacking Israeli civilians]?

Makhoul: I think that Tanzim. Tanzim doesn't advocate it and do not do it. [Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin] Ben Eliezer and [IDF Chief of Staff Shaul] Mofaz can claim what they want all day, but in practice they attack soldiers in the struggle. . .

IMRA: Only soldiers?

Makhoul: Soldiers.

IMRA: When I saw subparagraph (1) "Acts of violence that may cause the death or wounding of a person" does this mean that someone who throws a rock or a firebomb at a car that may cause death or injury would be engaged in terror?

Makhoul: But that is not an act of terror. It is an act of violence -- rebellion. It cannot be compared to terror.

IMRA: I get it. Throwing rocks and firebombs in order to kill someone is not an act of terror.

Makhoul: It is a popular act. Around the world you see it -- blocking roads, burning tires. . .

IMRA: And throwing rocks and fire bombs?

Makhoul: It is not terror. The strong claim that rock throwing is an act of terror.

IMRA: Was [PLO Chairman Yasser] Arafat's letter of September 1993 -- in which Arafat promised not to use violence but instead to negotiate a forfeiting of what you see as an international right to use force to liberate the occupied territories . . .?

Makhoul: It is naive to make such a claim. This [commitment to nonviolence] was a promise made within peacemaking -- [it was] not [given for the purpose of permitting Israel] to continue the occupation.

IMRA: So it was conditional.

Makhoul: I am not saying that. When you continue the war against the Palestinians you cannot expect this to be honored.

IMRA: You are saying that the Israelis started it?

Makhoul: That's not the point. I am saying who decided that Oslo is dead? Arafat gave this promise within that framework.

IMRA: The Fatah declaration that the Intifada should continue along with the negotiations is just rhetoric.

Makhoul: No. I think that if the Israelis with the help of President Clinton tried to impose a final agreement that was not just on the Palestinian people -- that left some occupied Palestinian land under occupation -- that should be freed according to UN decisions, and left other issues unresolved, then this is not acceptable.

IMRA: I do not want to take your time. Am I to understand from what you are saying that Arafat's commitment in the letter only applies if all the demands of the Palestinians are met?

Makhoul: All the commitments of the US and the international community.

IMRA: Let's put it this way: As long as Israel does not offer complete withdrawal to the 1967 line and the removal of the settlements in the final agreement, then Arafat has the right to go out of his promise not to use violence.

 Makhoul: That is my position -- that the withdrawal must be to the 1967 lines. As long as the Israeli government continues with the position that they seek a military rather than diplomatic resolution of the conflict then Arafat's commitment does not hold.



Hadash bill would legitimate terror attacks on IDF



(Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2001) MKs from across the political spectrum have expressed outrage at a draft bill from [the mostly Arab] Hadash [party] that says Palestinians attacking IDF soldiers should not be considered terrorists.

"It is not the job of legislators to condone any kind of violence," said opposition leader Yossi Sarid (Meretz). "We, who object to Israel's policy of targeted killings [of Palestinian terrorists], will not agree under any circumstances to killings by Palestinians, whomever their victims are."

Coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim (Likud) called [Arab MK] Issam Mahoul, [Jewish MK] Tamar Gozansky, and [Arab MK] Muhammad Barakei, the MKs who sponsored the bill, "Yasser Arafat's Trojan horses."

"It is very bold, and disgraceful, for Israeli parliamentarians to allow themselves to suggest a law which legitimates terror and the murder of Israelis," he said. The bill, which was presented to the Knesset on Monday, stops groups which fight occupation from being defined as "terrorist organizations" under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, unless they target civilians or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu MKs Yuri Stern and Uri Ariel Tuesday appealed to the Knesset presidium not to allow the bill to come up for its preliminary reading. They noted that under the Knesset regulations, the Knesset speaker does not have to present a bill that he determines is racist, or which denies Israel's right to exist as the state of the Jewish people.

"There is no need to change the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and we must not give legal legitimacy to terror activity, which will be given the disguise of innocent opposition to occupation," Stern said. "I cannot sit in the Knesset with people who permit the blood of our children to be spilled."

MK Issam Mahoul dismissed criticisms of the bill as "attempts to distort it. According to international law, in a state of war, it is legitimate to oppose Occupation, and actions taken under that framework are not terrorism."

(c) 2001 The Jerusalem Post


No pensions to families of terrorists

[Arab MKs believe that the families of Arab terrorists with Israeli citizenship should receive national welfare payments to compensate them for their loss when these Arab citizens of Israel are killed or injured while murdering, or attempting to murder, Jewish citizens of Israel]

By: Zvi Zarhiya, Ha'aretz, 3 January 2002

According to new legislation which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum yesterday, the National Insurance Institute (bituach leumi) will no longer pay pensions to the families of terrorists killed or maimed in terror attacks [thereby changing the prior law which required Israel's national welfare agency to compensate Israeli Arab families for the loss of their terrorist members]. Thirty-two MKs, including the prime minister, voted in favor of the new law submitted by Zvi Hendel (National Union). Eleven MKs from the Arab factions [constituting all of the Arab MKs of all of the Arab parties] and [Jewish MK] Mussi Raz of Meretz voted against.


MK Dehamshe: Israeli Arab October rioters were "noble and right", murderers were "prisoners of conscience"

By: Ori Nir, Ha'aretz, 3 January 2002

Israeli Arab security prisoners, including those who had admitted to murder, were "prisoners of conscience," MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List) said yesterday.

Speaking before the Or Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the October 2000 disturbances in which 13 Arab citizens were killed by Israeli security forces, Dehamshe said these were "people whose conscience led them to do something, not out of a desire for personal gain," but out of empathy for their brothers in the territories and a desire to further their struggle.

"From their point of view, they did something so noble and so right. It is unthinkable that we should turn our backs on them," Dehamshe added.

The lawmaker, who was a security detainee himself in the past, was questioned about remarks to this effect that he had made during a solidarity rally in support of Israeli Arab security prisoners at Umm al Fahm some 18 months ago.

Dehamshe was also asked to explain why he had called for the use of force against policemen who were sent to guard workers busy with demolishing illegal buildings. Shortly before the October riots, Dehamshe said that the policemen's "legs and arms should be broken."

Several police officers who appeared earlier before the panel said that certain remarks by Arab politicians had been tantamount to a license to attack policemen. Dehamshe told the panel yesterday that he felt it was legitimate to use force, "in self defense," if the police physically attacked people who were defending their homes.

Today, the panel is due to hear testimony from Science, Culture and Sport Minister Matan Vilnai, who was in charge of relations with the Arab sector during the October riots. Vilnai is the first member of the present cabinet who is being called to testify.


Israeli-Arabs join Arafat with call "Millions of martyrs (Shahids) are marching on Jerusalem"

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi takes "Israeli" Arab delegation to Ramallah in order to show support for "Palestinian" Arab suicide bombers]

By Ori Nir, Ha'aretz 9 February 2002

A delegation of Israeli-Arabs, members of the "Arab Movement for Renewal", led by MK Ahmed Tibi, visited Palestinian Authority Chairman in Ramallah on Saturday and participated in a chant calling on martyrs to march on Jerusalem.

The group had gone to Ramallah where Arafat has been kept by IDF troops who have encircled the city and positioned tanks just 100 meters from his office, for nearly two months, to express support for Arafat.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that Arafat will be allowed to leave once those responsible for the killing of tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi and the Karine A weapons boat [which was transporting 50 tons of weapons, including 3000 pounds of C-4 explosives, from Iran to the Palestinian Authority] are brought to justice.

The delegation chanted "Millions of martyrs (shahids) are marching on Jerusalem," a chant first expressed by Arafat earlier in the week and seen as condoning suicide attacks on the city.

Arafat told the delegation that the Palestinian people, with its resilience and its ability to withstand, would overcome Israel's military plans to destroy the Palestinian Authority.

Tibi spoke of the importance of Palestinian unity in the face of "Israeli aggression."

[Note: In "Palestinian" argot, the term "shahid" (martyr) generally refers to a "Palestinian" who dies while attempting to murder Jews; in the present context it specifically refers to "Palestinian" suicide bombers. Just a few days earlier, on February 3, 2002 in the New York Times newspaper, the very same Arafat, through his ghost-writers, had published a statement in the New York Times declaring: "Let me be very clear. I condemn the attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians. These groups do not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations for freedom. They are terrorist organizations, and I am determined to put an end to their activities.... No degree of oppression and no level of desperation can ever justify the killing of innocent civilians." But, of course, these rare and ephemeral words of conciliation were written in English for an American audience -- and, predictably, they were neither republished nor even acknowledged by "Palestinian" radio, television or newspapers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- while the bellicose words of "shuhada" (martyrdom) were uttered in Arabic for a "Palestinian" audience.]


MK Tibi: Only a few chanted "Millions of martyrs (Shahids) are marching on Jerusalem"

Aaron Lerner Date: 10 February 2002

On Israel Radio this morning, MK Ahmed Tibi was asked why his party members chanted "Millions of martyrs (Shahids) are marching on Jerusalem" along with Arafat on Saturday.

Tibi responded that: "900 - 1,000 people were there. Only six to seven joined in the chant. It is not my view; I don't want death. But I support the struggle of liberation."

Anchor Aryeh Golan asked: "Yasser Arafat wants to send millions of martyrs to Jerusalem? "

Tibi replied: "I join in his struggle, but that doesn't mean that I agree with everything he does. I am against bombing in Palestinian cities. 99% of those there did not participate. Six or nine kids joined in.

Golan: Arafat chanted -- he does every day.

Tibi: You have to be in his place -- with tanks etc. You can't expect him to sing Hatikvah.

Tibi also denied that Arafat sent children to carry out attacks.

Herut MK Michael Kleiner was on the program immediately after Tibi, and noted that neither Tibi nor anyone else at the meeting of Israeli Arabs with Arafat raised objection to the chant during the meeting.

[Note: It is amazing that six (or so) "Palestinian" children were able project their voices in such a way that they sounded like a thousand adults! Tibi says of Arafat: "You can't expect him to sing HaTikva" (Israel's national anthem), thereby implying that it is only natural that Arafat should instead chant for millions of martyrs to march upon Jerusalem. In this way Arab MK Tibi makes light of Arafat's very public call for suicide bombers to come forth in order to murder Jews.]



[Arab MKs are enraged that an Arab terrorist's corpse was "defiled" by its contact with a pig's carcass]

(Arutz Sheva, February 20, 2002) "Residents of Gush Katif [in the Gaza Strip] decided to take matters into their own hands," said local Rabbi Yosef Al-Nekaveh yesterday, "and when we were involved in evacuating the bodies of the three murdered Israelis (at the Kisufim attack this past Monday night), they placed pig fat and pigskin on the body of the dead terrorist." He said that a "right-wing kibbutznik" had supplied them with the swinish tissues. Arab MKs responded with outrage. [Arab MK] Ahmed Tibi said, "This is a pig-like act of a man who is not worthy of being a rabbi," while [Arab MK] Abdel Malek Dahamshe added, "The ethical inferiority and lowliness that the settlers have reached is intolerable. This is an act of first-degree desecration of God's Name... It is especially shocking to think that a rabbi did this." On the other side of the spectrum, [Jewish MK] Tzvi Hendel said, "If these primitive murderers stuff their brains with nonsense about Paradise and who-knows-how-many virgins waiting only for them, then they certainly believe in the other nonsense that being buried with pigskin blocks their way to Paradise."

[Note: No one should be shocked or surprised that "Israeli" Arab MKs are more concerned with the dignity of a dead terrorist than they are with the right of Jews not to be murdered. As for their outrage at the commingling of pig and terrorist, it is much more likely that the pig's corpse was defiled by its contact with the terrorist's carcass than the other way around.]



PA arrests three of Ze'evi's killers


[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi declares that the murderers of Jewish MK and Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi should not be turned over to Israel]

[excerpts of article are republished below]


(Jerusalem Post, February 22, 2002) The Palestinian General Intelligence Service of Tawfik Tirawi arrested the head of the PFLP's military wing in Nablus and two other suspected killers of Tourism Minister [and MK] Rehavam Ze'evi on Thursday. ... [Palestinian Authority head] Arafat confidant MK Ahmed Tibi also asked [Israel's Prime Minister] Sharon to release Arafat [from de facto confinement in his Ramallah headquarters as a reward for arresting the murderers]. He said the men will be "put on trial in our territories," and said Israel has no right to demand their extradition. ...

[Note: MK Tibi is lying when he states that Israel has no right to demand extradition of Arab terrorists from the Palestinian Authority. In fact, under the Oslo Accords and their progeny, Israel is entitled to the extradition of murderers unless they are already imprisoned in the P.A. for some other offense. Cynically seizing upon this exemption, the P.A. has -- time and again -- "arrested" terrorists sought by Israel, not for the crimes of murdering or maiming Jews, but rather for such "crimes" as "acting against the higher interests of the Palestinian people" for the sole purpose of shielding these terrorists from either extradition to Israel (-- the requests for which the P.A. has never honored --) or elimination by Israel (-- to which the latter sometimes resorts due to the P.A.'s habitual refusal to honor such extradition requests --), only to quietly release them from "prison" (-- often little more than home confinement --) shortly after garnering international praise for the initial "arrest".  Tellingly, Tibi refer to those areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza presently under the P.A.'s control as "our" territories. Either Tibi has suddenly become a Zionist and consequently believes that the districts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza actually belong to Israel, or he is publicly reaffirming that his own allegiance is not to Israel, but rather to those who are presently conducting a bloody jihad against it.]


Arab deputy calls for ICJ probe into Israeli war crimes

["Israeli" Arab MK Mohammad Barakeh files a request with the International Court of Justice that it investigate Israel's "war crimes" against the "Palestinian" Arabs]

(Jordan Times, April 12, 2002) [republishing a news story from the French news agency Agence France-Presse] TEL AVIV (AFP) — Israeli Arab deputy Mohammad Barakeh urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to open an inquiry into the "war crimes" perpetrated by Israel in reoccupied Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

In a letter to the ICJ, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, the communist MP accused the Israeli forces, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of carrying out "war crimes" in the West Bank.

The Israeli army launched on March 29 its largest military operation inside the occupied territories since the 1967 Middle East war, invading six West Bank cities, killing at least 200 Palestinians in what it described as a bid to "wipe out the terrorist infrastructure."

Accusing Israel of "serious violations of human rights and humanitarian conventions," Barakeh called for the "sending of an ICJ investigation mission to the Palestinian territories."

"The Israeli army has indiscriminately shelled refugee camps, using helicopters, warplanes, tanks and heavy artillery, killing hundreds of people. Medical assistance has been denied, hospitals have been shelled," said Barakeh's letter.

"The population is starving because of the curfew, while water pipes and electricity networks have been destroyed," the MP went on.

Two days ago, Lebanese president Emile Lahoud called for the Israeli leadership to appear in front of the ICJ for the "massacres" committed by the army in the Palestinian territories.

Barakeh, from the Hadash Party which counts both Israeli Arab and Jewish members, has been a vocal critic Israel's hard-line premier and recently lost an appeal with the Supreme Court which he had urged to rule as illegal Israel's policy of assassinating suspected Palestinian activists ["activists", i.e., operational leaders of the terror organizations, such as Tanzim, Force 17, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad].

[Note: Without addressing each and every slanderous allegation made by this Arab MK, suffice it to say that if any "Palestinians" were actually "starving because of the [present] curfew" or because of any prior curfews or closures (as has been continuously alleged by "Palestinian" Arab spokesmen and "Israeli" Arab MKs), then the world would already have been provided with some actual proof (rather than merely an endless repetition) of such allegations through the ubiquitous eye of the international media. It is certainly treasonous that, when this Arab MK -- who has publicly taken an oath of loyalty to the State of Israel -- was outraged enough by the continuing carnage to demand a war crimes investigation, such outrage is publicly directed: neither at the Palestinian Authority (through its Tanzim, Force 17 and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror appendages) or Hamas or Islamic Jihad; nor -- to be "even-handed" in the interests of "the peace process"-- at both these entities and the State of Israel; but only at the State of Israel. Clearly, in the view of this and the other Arab MKs, Israel commits a "war crime" merely by daring to defend itself against its implacable enemies.]


What happened at Jenin? [Excerpt republished below]

[Despite the fact that the terrorist cells of Tanzim, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and Islamic Jihad which were ensconced throughout Jenin had booby-trapped most of the buildings, vehicles, and alleyways there, thereby causing most of the structural damage suffered by the town, and despite the fact that virtually all of the Arab dead there were, in fact, armed combatants, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi attempts to bolster the blood libel that Israel murdered hundreds of noncombatants there.]

By: Stewart Bell (National Post, with files; Reuters, April 15, 2002)

National Post reporter Stewart Bell interviewed Palestinians fleeing the Jenin refugee camp and Israeli military officials in an attempt to sort out the two sides' widely disparate claims about the conduct and human cost of the battles in the camp.

- - -

RAMANEH, West Bank - Ramaneh Elementary and Preparatory School normally echoes with the squeals of children. Yesterday it served a more sombre function as a refuge for hundreds of war-weary Palestinians displaced by the fighting in nearby Jenin.

There was a woman who had fled her home in such a panic she grabbed the wrong child, realizing too late that she was running away from the battle with her nephew rather than her son. She still does not know what happened to her boy.

There were young men who told of being rounded up en masse by Israeli troops, detained and released with orders to carry crude army-issue photo identity cards. And there were those who said missiles had struck their homes, all but destroying them.

During a stop at the Ramaneh school, Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, said he had met hundreds of Palestinians displaced by what he termed the "massacre" in Jenin, where 23 Israeli troops and at least 100 Palestinians were killed last week.

"Everyone has a story," he said. "Everyone has a tragedy, about executions they saw, about their whole family that was killed, about the most tangible concern --where is my family?"

While the people of Jenin had vivid accounts of the fighting and destruction of homes, few seemed to have first-hand knowledge of the massacres said to have taken place. The lack of solid information has fuelled the rumour mill.

A grocery store owner near Jenin spoke in a hushed voice about seeing Israeli troops loading the bodies of massacred Palestinians into a refrigerated truck which he said was still parked on a nearby hill.

Asked to elaborate, he declined. "The people that are sitting there are collaborators," he said.

The refrigerated truck was parked on a grassy hill, where Israeli troops were resting with their tanks and armoured vehicles listening to Alanis Morissette on a stereo.

When a National Post reporter inspected the truck, it contained not bodies but apples and other food and supplies for the troops.

Yesterday was a day of diplomacy in the Middle East, but it was also a day of all-out public relations, as the Palestinians tried to portray Jenin as a cold-blooded massacre -- their version of Srebrenica or Racak -- and the Israelis did their best to prove such accusations unfounded.

The Jenin refugee camp, a hotbed of Palestinian militancy, was the scene of the heaviest fighting of the current Israeli counter-terrorism offensive. Although the house-to-house street battles ended four days ago, the camp remains off-limits (still, the Israeli army took a hand-picked group of reporters on a guided tour yesterday).

The Israelis say the camp has not been opened up because it was extensively booby-trapped by Palestinian militants. But that has only fuelled speculation that the Israelis are buying time to cover up a massacre. A few reporters who snuck past security lines or broke away from the official tour overseen by Israeli officials found bodies, frightened civilians and heavy damage to buildings.

The contorted bodies of four Palestinian men, blackened by decomposition, were found in a living room apparently hit by a missile. Andeera Harb, 34, a child psychologist whose relatives owned the house, said the four men had been eating dinner.

However, there was a helmet on the head of one body. What appeared to be pipe bombs were partially hidden under a coat.

In a room of a house 100 metres away, the bloated body of a middle-aged man, arms and one leg suspended in rigor mortis, lay on its side next to a bookcase.

Only a few dozen residents were seen, all women, children and older men. They said the army had killed or detained all men of fighting age, whether they were militants or not.

Many homes, including some untouched by fighting, seemed to have been ransacked. Residents claimed money, jewelry and other valuables had been stolen, and that larders were raided.

In Jerusalem, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli Defence Minister, told the Cabinet around 70 militants were killed in the camp, fewer than earlier army estimates, political sources said.

Jacob Dallal, an army spokesman, said 26 bodies lay unretrieved around the once-teeming concrete camp, home to Palestinian refugees since 1948, and more could be under the wreckage. Another nine Palestinian bodies were turned over [by Israeli forces] to two hospitals for burial and two more had been buried by relatives.

All but three were members of the estimated 200-strong, hard-core Palestinian militant force in the camp, Mr. Dallal said. The others were two women and a child.

Jenin has exacted the highest Israeli toll -- 23 soldiers [15 of them when a adolescent suicide bomber exploded himself in their midst and nearby terrorists detonated pre-planted explosive charges which collapsed an entire building on the soldiers] and scores wounded -- in the 16-day incursion into West Bank cities, billed as a drive against suicide bombers. The army says most of its dead were killed by booby traps fitted to cars, assault rifles, garbage cans, doors, closets, chairs, drawers, fridges, sports balls and uniforms.

Mr. Dallal cited these as one reason why 26 bodies had yet to be retrieved. "Some of the bodies themselves may be booby-trapped."

Army officers said the Palestinian Red Crescent had been reluctant to collect bodies for safety reasons. However, Palestinian medics say the army has barred them from entering the camp and some Palestinians said the army was secretly burying corpses in mass graves to cover up a massacre.

Standing before eight-metre mounds of rubble and earth in the square, army officers said most of the camp's 15,000 residents had been evicted by militants who placed booby traps in their homes, before the army arrived.

Camp residents said the army drove them out by threatening to destroy their homes, and then kept them out.

"Most of the houses we approached on entering the camp were empty [of civilians]. The camp was ready for war," said Israeli platoon commander Yoni Wolff.

"People are living in agony because of these massacres," Mr. Tibi said. "No one has any numbers but people here are talking about hundreds of Palestinians murdered. People are talking about a missile attack by helicopter, by tank."

Major Natan Golan, spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces, countered that what the Palestinians are calling a massacre was really an extremely heavy battle between government troops and armed militants who set bombs throughout the village.

Jenin was "littered with explosives and [defended by] very certified terrorists," he said. He acknowledged there was heavy damage to the camp but said it was a result of booby-trap bombs that were either set off by Palestinians or blown up by Israeli forces.

He also said the Israeli army had dispatched rescue teams to Jenin yesterday to help rescue 19 Palestinians trapped in two collapsed buildings.

Tanks were not used in the operation because the streets are too narrow and helicopters were only used on one day, when a group of Israeli troops were ambushed. "There was no massacre in the Jenin refugee camp," Maj. Golan said.

He blamed the Palestinian propaganda machine for the massacre story. "They are doing their job well," he said.

. . .

[Note: Had Israel wanted to slaughter Arab noncombatants in Jenin, it could have easily employed aircraft to indiscriminately carpet-bomb the city (similar to America's use of massive air power against the villages of Afghanistan which killed approximately 4000 noncombatants). Instead, Israel risked the lives of its soldiers in house-to-house fighting inside the "refugee camp" portion of the town precisely in order to minimize casualties among the noncombatants there. Moreover, even the surviving terrorists understood this point; that is precisely why -- rather than fight "to the death" as they had publicly boasted at the outset -- they all surrendered to Israel's soldiers. And now think about this: If the Arabs really believed that the Jewish State has committed -- and continues to commit -- massacre after massacre upon them, then they would not continue to demand, at every opportunity and in every international forum, their "right of return" thereto.]



Israeli-Arab extremism

By Evelyn Gordon


(Jerusalem Post, April 16, 2002) Israeli Arab activists called a press conference last Wednesday to protest the arrest of five members of their community on suspicion of incitement and sedition. The arrests stemmed from a demonstration two weeks earlier at which some participants called for "liberating Palestine with blood" and "blowing up Tel Aviv."

Based on videotapes of the event, police believe the five detainees -- who include the head of a movement for Bedouin educational rights, the head of the ["Israeli" Arab town of] Rahat sports and culture center and the head of the Arab student union at Ben-Gurion University -- are the guilty parties.

That such violent statements came from respected community leaders rather than the lunatic fringe is deeply disturbing. That many other community leaders, though claiming to oppose such statements, nevertheless defended them at the press conference as legitimate political speech is even more so. Yet most disturbing of all was the rationalization offered by Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List): The police, he told reporters, are persecuting leaders who did nothing more than express views shared by all Israeli Arabs.

What makes a-Sanaa's statement so frightening is that one need only accept one (not implausible) premise - that Arab MKs truly represent the public that elected them - to find it irrefutable. For over the last few years, statements praising violence against Jews have become standard fare among these MKs.

MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe (UAL), for instance, told the Or Commission of Inquiry in January that Israeli Arabs convicted of murdering Jews were "prisoners of conscience," because murder, even of noncombatants, is "something so noble and so right" if selflessly committed to further the Palestinian cause. Hashem Mahameed (UAL) told the same panel in November that throwing rocks at Jews is a legitimate form of democratic protest.

Azmi Bishara (Balad) gave a speech in Syria last summer in which he urged Arab countries to "expand the sphere of resistance against Israel" - and, lest anyone imagine he meant peaceful resistance, cited Hizbullah as the model of what resistance should be. Bishara also told the Or Commission in December that Israeli Arab leaders would have shirked their duty had they urged Israeli Arabs not to attack Jews during the October 2000 riots.

Mohammed Barakei (Hadash) gave a speech in November 2000 in which he urged Israeli Arabs to participate in Palestinian violence against Israel. A-Sanaa himself, in an interview with the Nazareth-based newspaper Kul al-Arab last year, described the head of Hamas - the organization that pioneered suicide bombings against women and children -- as an "exalted" figure comparable to the Dalai Lama. He said that Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah - who continued military attacks against Israel even after it acceded to his demand for withdrawal from every last inch of Lebanese territory - "deserves the Nobel Peace Prize." And these statements are merely a representative sampling.

THE ARAB parties have 10 seats in the current Knesset, representing roughly two-thirds of the Arab electorate. Part of the remainder boycotts the polls at the behest of the [northern wing of Israel's] Islamic Movement, whose leaders also routinely advocate violence. Thus if statements by Arab MKs indeed reflect the opinions of their voters, the inescapable conclusion is that an overwhelming majority of Israeli Arabs actively or tacitly supports violence against Israeli Jews.

This conclusion is particularly significant given the recent reemergence of the doctrine of "transfer" (expulsion of the Arabs) into Israeli public discourse. Today, an overwhelming majority of Israel's Jews find this idea fully as repugnant as do Israeli Arabs. Yet in the long run, it is impossible to imagine Arabs and Jews living together in one state if a majority of the former condone and even encourage violence against the latter. Thus the growing support for anti-Jewish violence among Israeli Arabs should be of paramount concern to all those who reject "transfer" as a solution -- and first and foremost, to Israeli Arabs themselves.

Ironically, one of the few Israeli Arab leaders to have understood this is MK Mahameed ("rock-throwing is legitimate"). In an interview with Ha'aretz in January, Mahameed warned his fellow MKs that when they cast their struggle as being "against the Jews or against the state" instead of merely as against government policies, this lends credence to transfer advocates.

"I don't want us to wave around radical slogans today and cry tomorrow over the results," he said.

A similar awakening is desperately needed among other Israeli Arab leaders - and even more so among the Israeli Arab public. While a few Israeli Arabs have publicly expressed dismay over their elected representatives' extremism, the jury is still out on whether they represent the silent majority.

The acid test will be the next Knesset elections, when Israeli Arabs will have the choice of reelecting or rejecting the current crop of extremists. They may well be voting on the future of Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israel.

(c) Jerusalem Post

[Note: The late Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote, and spoke about, this issue some 20 years ago, and he came to the conclusion (based upon Torah law as well as upon pragmatic grounds) that the forcible "transfer" (with certain exceptions based upon proven loyalty to the Jewish State) of the "Israeli" Arab and "Palestinian" Arab population to one or more Arab states was the only solution. Now, two decades later, commentator Evelyn Gordon finally opens her eyes in surprise and discovers that Arab MKs who -- on a daily basis -- essentially advocate for the destruction of Israel actually represent the views of their constituency which -- year after year -- returns them to the Knesset. The real question is: What took this astute commentator so long to acknowledge the obvious, namely, that "Israeli" Arabs do not accept -- and will never accept -- the legitimacy of a Jewish State in any part of the biblical Land of Israel? This is precisely why -- despite this commentator's attempt to deny and minimize the growing popularity of the concept of "transfer" among Israel's Jews -- even after the banning of Kahane's Kach party and the subsequent assassination of the Rabbi, the latter's solution still resonates so deeply.]



[Arab MKs demand the right to "pray" at the besieged Church of the Nativity]

(Arutz Sheva, April 21, 2001) [excerpt republished]

. . .

In Bethlehem, Israeli troops and tanks continue to surround the Church of the Nativity, where some 200 Arab terrorists have taken dozens of Christian clergymen as hostages and refuse to give themselves up. Several Arab Knesset Members led an unruly demonstration of about 200 people this afternoon outside the Church, demanding to be able to pray there; the army kept them out, but permitted the entry of the three truckloads of food and supplies they brought.

[Note: All of a sudden, they just wanted to pray there?! The attempt by Arab MKs to enter the Church for the purpose of giving "moral" support and/or providing intelligence information to terrorists who have made war upon the State of Israel is yet further proof that these "parliamentarians" constitute a cancer inside the Knesset. However, giving them the benefit of the doubt -- just this last time -- perhaps these MKs thought that the Church was -- or should be -- a mosque!]



(Arutz Sheva, April 30, 2002) Arab MKs prevented a Knesset committee from debating today a question of disciplinary action against Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi. The Knesset House Committee was to deal with a request by the Likud Party to take measures against Tibi, in light of the praise that Tibi had for the Jenin terrorists and the strong fight they put up against IDF soldiers. The other Arab MKs shouted and yelled throughout the debate, especially when Likud MK Michael Eitan tried to speak. Finally, Likud MK Ze'ev Boim walked out in anger -- after partially overturning a table -- and the Chairman was forced to call off the session. Likud MKs Boim and Eitan held a press conference afterwards to present their view of the incident. "This is a struggle for the right of Knesset members to engage in parliamentary debate without being interrupted by Arab MKs who don't understand what democracy is and don't know how to talk and hold a cultured dialogue. Interruptions are allowed, but not an organized campaign to shut mouths and silence others from speaking, as they did today."

In a related item the Knesset Ethics Committee decided to sanction Hadash Party MK Issam Makhoul, barring him from three plenum sessions. Several weeks ago, Makhoul shouted "Heil Sharon" in the Knesset while making the Nazi salute with his hand directed towards the Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon].



(Arutz Sheva, May 1, 2002) By a wide margin of 12-3, the Knesset Law Committee approved today a legislative proposal to ban political parties that support terrorism from running in Knesset elections. Likud MK Yossi Katz initiated the proposal in an attempt to prevent Arab MKs from taking advantage of their Parliamentary immunity to express solidarity with Arab terrorism. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi sparred with Katz today on the matter. Tibi said, "You are attempting to restrain Arab electoral strength. In the next elections, there won't be just one Ahmed Tibi, but three of us - I promise you." MK Katz said, "With all your fancy talk, I can tell you that from the minute this law passes, the next time you find yourself praising the terrorists or encouraging them to fight against soldiers, you will find yourself out of the Knesset." The bill now moves to the full Knesset for final approval.

[Note: It's about time! Yet the existence of a legal mechanism to expel offending "Israeli" Arab Knesset members does nothing to change -- and, what's worse, may even serve to obscure -- the fact that these parliamentarians are only articulating the treasonous views of their "Israeli" Arab constituency.]



[MK Ahmed Tibi complains that Israel's new law is unfair because it would stop "at the starting line" those Arab parties who wish to enter the Knesset upon a platform of anti-Israel incitement]

(Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2002) The Knesset passed two bills today designed to restrict Arab incitement. The first stipulates that one who makes a public call for an act of violence or terrorism, or praise for terrorist acts, will face up to five years in jail -- if there is a concrete possibility that the call would lead to the perpetration of the violence. The second bill, sponsored by Likud MK Yisrael Katz, states that a party whose representatives express support for a violent struggle against Israel would not be permitted to run in national elections.

The second bill passed by a very large majority, 77-18, and the other one also passed, 55-36. MK Katz, only minutes before the vote, enumerated to the Knesset the many inciteful statements uttered by Arab MKs in recent months that had made the law necessary. Minister Sheetrit said afterwards, "The Knesset has put an end to wild incitement… The law does not affect freedom of speech, but merely puts a limit on the freedom of incitement. Democracy has a right to protect itself…" MK Ahmed Tibi, participating in the Knesset debate on the bill, said, "You can't stop me at the starting line just because my name is Ahmed." MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) called out, "You support terrorism, you are an agent of the enemy entity, and you will no longer be able to support the enemy as a Knesset Member." Other sharp exchanges involved other Arab MKs and MKs Benny Elon, Tzvi Hendel, Yisrael Katz, and others.

[Note: It is more than obvious that MK Tibi, a former official advisor to Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, really meant to say: "You can't stop me at the starting line just because my name is Ahmed ... and just because the political party which I lead supports 'armed resistance' against the 'Zionist entity' both within the 1967 'occupied territories' and within the 1948 'occupied territories'."]


Knesset panel: Restrict Tibi's freedom of movement

By: Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2002) The Knesset House Committee recommended yesterday that MK Ahmed Tibi's (Arab Movement for Change) parliamentary right to freedom of movement be revoked until the end of the 15th Knesset.

Michael Eitan's (Likud) request to limit Tibi's immunity was approved 12-5. MKs from Labor, Shinui, and Yisrael Ba'aliya did not attend the vote. The recommendation is to be brought before the Knesset plenum for approval soon.

MKs from the Likud, Shas, Gesher, National Religious Party, and National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu supported Eitan's proposal. Opposing it were committee chairman Yossi Katz (Labor), Naomi Chazan (Meretz), Nehama Ronen (Center), Hadash leader Muhammad Barakei, and United Arab List leader Abdel Malik Dehamshe.

[Arab MK] Barakei slammed the Labor faction for failing to send three of its MKs to the vote, calling them "wimps."

Eitan said he submitted the request after Tibi clashed with soldiers at roadblocks into the Palestinian Authority areas during Operation Defensive Shield, and also entered the Jenin refugee camp in violation of a military order. Eitan said the committee should have curbed Tibi long ago, adding that there are "lines that MKs should not cross."

Tibi called the vote a "black day for Israeli democracy," and vowed to challenge the decision in the High Court of Justice.

He said Eitan's move was only intended as "political persecution" for his opinions, and that he had exploited the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians to punish him.

Tibi said he would continue to represent his electorate, and Eitan could not scare Israeli Arabs into supporting the government. "I oppose the government and its policies, not the State," he said, adding that Eitan could "not turn him into a Zionist."

Knesset legal adviser Anna Schneider said the removal of the privilege would mean that Tibi's right to freedom of movement would be the same as any other citizen's.

However, Tibi still has parliamentary immunity from arrest and indictment, and the attorney-general must have the Knesset approve such requests. As a result, Schneider said in practice the move may not have much impact on Tibi. Moreover, MKs' parliamentary right to freedom of movement only applies inside the country.

The late Kach MK Meir Kahane's freedom of movement and right to send free correspondence were also revoked by the Knesset.

Shaul Yahalom (National Religious Party) and Katz recommended that Tibi's freedom of movement only be limited until the end of the Knesset summer session in August [2002]. However, their proposal was rejected. The 15th Knesset is scheduled to dissolve in November 2003.

Chazan said the committee's decision had turned the Knesset into a court, which she said harms its status as an institution.

Under the MKs Immunity Law, an MK may submit a request to withhold privileges from another MK.

[Note: In the same breath, MK Tibi declares that he will continue representing his constituency; but that he does oppose the government; but that he does not oppose the State; but that he does oppose Zionism. Is this just gibberish? No. MK Tibi means that he and his electorate accept Israel, not as a Jewish State, but rather as a State comprised of its inhabitants which, based upon present demographic trends, will eventually become just another one of the many Arab states in the World, albeit one with a substantial Jewish minority (and, of course, with a formidable nuclear capacity). To that end, he justifies terror attacks against the Jewish people ostensibly to end "The Occupation" of "Palestinian" lands but actually to make life in Israel so dangerous for Jews that their emigration will flow and their immigration will ebb -- all just to hasten that day when the Jewish State is no more.]


Israeli Arab leaders say "no" to security fence

["Israeli" Arab MKs join together with other "Israeli" Arab leaders to oppose the security fence that Israel has decided to build in order to assist it in thwarting terror attacks by "Palestinian" Arabs operating from bases in Judea and Samaria]


(Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2002) Israeli Arab leaders yesterday declared their opposition "as a matter of principle" to the concept of a security fence separating Israel from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in an effort to minimize terrorist infiltrations.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting in Umm el-Fahm of the secretariat of the Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership, composed of [Arab] MKs, council heads and prominent public figures.

Work began last week on the construction of a 110-kilometer stretch of the security fence from the Mount Gilboa region south to Kafr Kassem.

Participants at the meeting maintained they oppose the fence because they are opposed to the ongoing violence from which both Palestinians and Israelis have been suffering.

"We are opposed to this fence, because we don't believe it can bring about real peace and security," said Abed Inbitawi, spokesman for the committee, after the meeting.

"This fence is not based on borders that have been agreed upon by both sides on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions and therefore it cannot guarantee anything in the short term and certainly not in the long term," said Inbitawi.

The committee also decided, as a matter of principle, to fight any expropriation of Arab-owned land and to oppose any infringement of the municipal jurisdiction of Arab local authorities for the construction of the fence.

The problem was first raised last week by Umm el-Fahm Mayor Suleiman Agbariya, who claimed the route of the fence near his city would exclude some homes and would deny some residents access to their fields and orchards.

The committee agreed that the municipality should continue negotiations with the Defense Ministry over the project, but would support its opposition to any expropriation of Arab-owned land or infringement of its municipal jurisdiction.

It was further agreed to establish a regional subcommittee composed of council leaders in the Triangle area and local landowners to closely monitor the situation and coordinate action with the monitoring committee.

Inbitawi noted that other towns and villages in the Triangle region would be disrupted by the fence, apart from Umm el-Fahm.

The regional subcommittee is to report back to the main forum within a week on its findings and with its recommendations for action.

Inbitawi said that at the moment all possibilities are being considered, including legal action, demonstrations, political lobbying, and raising the issue in the international arena.

He stressed that the opposition of the monitoring committee to the security fence is based on humanitarian grounds, as well as the belief that it would not bring about an end to the violence.

"We believe that the government is misleading the public, primarily psychologically, by giving the impression that this security fence... will help bring about security, whereas there is no guarantee that this will be the case," said Inbitawi.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer spoke with the head of the Gilboa Regional Council yesterday and assured him that, with work on the Green Line security fence set to start today, planning for a continuation of the fence in the council's northern Samaria area would soon get under way.

Previously, the council heads threatened to raise funds for building their own security fence in the council's jurisdiction.

(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: While Jews both advocate and oppose the building of the security fence based upon a unitary theme, namely, whether or not they believe the fence will save Jewish lives, Arab MKs oppose the fence for a very different reason, namely, their fear that the fence will succeed in restricting the virtually unfettered access of "Palestinian" Arabs, among them terrorists, to Israel within the 1949 armistice demarcation lines.]



[Arab Knesset member Azmi Bishara praises terror attack]

(Arutz Sheva, July 17, 2002) [excerpt republished]

. . .

At least four Palestinian terrorist organizations took credit for the attack [at the entrance to the Jewish village of Emanuel in which a bus filled with Israeli civilians was attacked], but it now appears that Hamas was responsible. It is believed that the terrorist cell that carried out a similar bomb-and-shoot attack outside Emanuel last Chanukah (December 2001; 11 people were killed) perpetrated yesterday's attack as well. Only some of the original terrorists have been arrested.

Conflicting voices were heard in the Palestinian Authority about the slaughter. Although Arafat's Fatah organization was quick to take credit for it, the PA itself issued an official condemnation of attacks on "innocent civilians." The condemnation was given an interesting spin by PA cabinet secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahman: "(These civilians) were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they call themselves Israeli citizens, let them stay there and not come into our land." He further said that the official condemnation was issued only because of heavy international pressure, and that the PA "supports and even aids" terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.

Israeli-Arab Knesset Member Azmi Bishara was almost as outspoken: "If the Palestinians want a state, attacks like this help them," he told an Egyptian television station yesterday. Bishara refused to condemn the attack, saying afterwards, "I have always been against attacks against civilians -- but never [against attacks] in the territories (Judea and Samaria)... (These attack) show that the desire for Palestinian resistance has not broken."


Bitter Circus Erupts as Israel Indicts a Top Fatah Figure

[Arab Members of Knesset give moral support to PLO terrorist on trial in Israel]

(New York Times, August 15, 2002) By SERGE SCHMEMANN [excerpt republished]

JERUSALEM, Aug. 14 — Marwan Barghouti, the most prominent Palestinian leader to be brought before a civilian Israeli court, made clear at his indictment on terrorism charges today that he intends to turn his public trial into a political duel with Israel.

Waving his handcuffed hands in his first appearance since his capture on April 15, Mr. Barghouti shouted in Hebrew (a language he learned during his previous incarcerations in Israeli prisons), "I have charges against the Israeli government!"

As television cameras and radio microphones recorded the proceedings, he continued, "I have a charge sheet with 50 clauses against Israel for the bloodshed of both people!"

Mr. Barghouti was twice pulled out of the Tel Aviv courtroom by guards in attempts to stop his speeches before the session finally ended with the announcement that the next hearing in his case would be Sept. 5.

But Arab members of the Israeli Parliament who were in the courtroom picked up his theme.

"This will be a trial of the Israeli occupation and oppression," said one of them, Ahmed Tibi.

The Israeli prosecutor made equally clear that Israel intends to use the trial to substantiate its claim that the entire Palestinian leadership of Yasir Arafat, in which Mr. Barghouti played a prominent role, is nothing more than a band of terrorists and murderers.

Chen, the prosecutor, said her evidence in the case includes the testimony of Mr. Barghouti's supposed associates who are also in Israeli custody; documents seized by the Israeli Army during its large-scale raids into the West Bank last spring — including some intended to establish Mr. Arafat's personal role in approving and financing terror strikes, and statements made by Mr. Barghouti himself during his interrogation.

"The charges are murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and activities in a terrorist organization," Ms. Chen said.

Israel's basic case is that Mr. Barghouti, as the West Bank leader of Fatah [-- the main faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization], Mr. Arafat's core political movement, was responsible for terror attacks carried out by Fatah's secretive and deadly Aksa Martyrs Brigades. The charge sheet, which she did not read out in court, specifically cites 37 attacks in which 26 people were killed and scores wounded.

"The accused, a Ramallah resident, heads the West Bank [branch of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades] terror organization," the indictment declared. "The accused was subordinate to Yasir Arafat, who heads the [entire] terrorist organization."

. . .



Barghouti gets French Jewish lawyer


[Arab MK Muhammed Barakei complains that Israeli court is biased against mass murderer]

(Jerusalem Post, September 8, 2002) Arab MKs and lawyers of Fatah West Bank General-Secretary Marwan Barghouti worked feverishly over the weekend to crack the legal phalanx against their client, hiring a Tunisian-born Jewish lawyer to appeal Israeli jurisdiction, and calling for the removal of the trial's presiding judge.

Gisele Halimi, a 75-year-old French lawyer who earned her reputation by defending Algerians fighting French rule, announced on Saturday that she will lead the team defending the Tanzim leader and founder of the Aksa Martyrs Brigade who was indicted on numerous counts of murder, attempted murder, and leadership of terrorist organizations.

The polished Halimi, who said she met with Barghouti last Friday -- a day after the stormy opening session of the Barghouti trial -- immediately questioned Israel's right to try him.

"Who is Marwan? What has he said? What has he written?" she asked. "We can't talk here of any real proof or facts."

Daniel Taub, the Foreign Ministry's point man for the Barghouti trial, responded by calling the evidence gathered against Barghouti "a very serious charge sheet."

Regardless, Taub said Halimi's work will be in vain. "I have no idea what she thinks she is going to be doing for [Barghouti]," he said. "She will certainly not be representing him in court."

According to Israeli law, only members of the Israeli Bar may represent their clients in court. The only exception, last utilized in the Ivan Demjanjuk case in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is geared for the trial of suspected Nazi war criminals.

Earlier on Saturday, Barghouti's lawyers said they will appeal Israeli jurisdiction to try their client. Jawad Boulus, who until Saturday was Barghouti's lead attorney and still remains on his legal team, has said that agreements signed with Israel in 1994 give Palestinian militants immunity; because Barghouti is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Boulus added, Israel has no right to try his client.

Barghouti will next appear in court on October 3, when he is again to represent himself so that he may present what his lawyers call "a political trial."

On Friday, MK Muhammed Barakei (Hadash) called on Supreme Court President Aharon Barak to disqualify Sarah Sirota, the presiding judge in the Barghouti case, for comments she made on last Thursday's stormy session.

After repeatedly rejecting the court's right to try him, and refusing to hear his indictment -- against the advice of the court -- Barghouti stated that "the Israeli government is waging a war of genocide, and I am a freedom fighter for peace between the two peoples."

In response, Sirota snapped, "Peace activists do not turn children into bombs and kill people."

That comment effectively passed judgment on the defendant before the presentation of evidence in the court had commenced, said Barakei, who also condemned the scolding tone Sirota used with the defendant.

Generally, either the prosecution or the defense, not an uninvolved third party [such as MK Barakei], calls for the judge's disqualification.


(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post



Arafat still isolated; Mukata destruction halted

[Three Arab MKs -- and one Jewish MK -- attempt to make a solidarity visit to the besieged Mukata compound of Yasser Arafat]

By MARGO DUDKEVITCH and LAMIA LAHOUD [excerpts republished]

(Jerusalem Post, September 23, 2002) The bulldozers that for the past three days have been demolishing the buildings in Yasser Arafat’s Mukata compound in Ramallah stopped work and were pulled out of the area at dusk Sunday. They left behind the damaged headquarters where the Palestinian Authority chairman remains confined to a small number of rooms with an estimated 200 people, including the 50 fugitives whose surrender Israel demands.

. . .

The city remains under curfew, and yesterday afternoon the IDF barred a number of Knesset members from entering Ramallah to visit Arafat. MKs Muhammad Barakeh, Tamar Godzansky, Isam Mahoul and Ahmed Tibi were informed that the area is a closed military zone. According to reports, Arafat called the MKs to thank them for their support.

. . .


(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post



["Israeli" Arab MK Taleb a-Sana leads a post-siege solidarity mission of "Israeli" Arabs to the Mukata compound of Yasser Arafat]

(Arutz Sheva, October 3, 2002) Maj.-Gen. (res.) Oren Shachor - who served as head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria in the early-to-mid 1990's, and was a senior member of the Israeli negotiating team with the PA under the Rabin and Peres governments - heard from Yasser Arafat as early as the summer of 1995 that war was one of his two alternatives. "He wasn't threatening," Shachor said, "but merely explaining the situation. He said that he had two alternatives to reach a Palestinian state - either via negotiations, as we were engaging in at the time, or war. He compared himself to Ben-Gurion. Arafat also said that his side would be able to withstand 20,000 or 30,000 losses - he called them shahidim [martyrs], and said that it could even strengthen his side - but that we, the Israelis, would have a hard time bearing even 500 casualties." Speaking to Arutz-7 yesterday, Shachor refused to acknowledge that the Israeli negotiators were naive in not interpreting this as a threat that in fact later materialized.

. . .

What should be done with Arafat now? Shachor feels he should have been expelled, regardless of the boost it would have given his image, but "for now, after the Mukata siege [of Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah] ended the way it did, it's too late." As if to accentuate the point, a group of Israeli-Arabs, headed by MK Taleb a-Sana, met with Arafat today in Ramallah.


Peres pledges to exhaust diplomatic efforts to resolve Lebanon water diversion dispute

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi justifies Lebanon's theft of water bound for Israel]


(Jerusalem Post, October 17, 2002) Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Wednesday that Israel intends to do everything possible to settle the dispute with Lebanon over their pumping from the Wazzani River through diplomatic avenues before resorting to military measures.

Peres said he believes Hizbullah is behind the unilateral water "provocation," and not the Lebanese government. He warned that the Lebanese pumping is liable to cause a serious escalation between Israel and Lebanon and also touch off a regional water conflict.

But Peres, who was speaking to the Knesset, said that he does "does not want to make threats." He said Israel would "wait until all diplomatic avenues are exhausted." He called on Lebanon to respect international law regarding waters that flow through more than one country.

Peres said the Lebanese pumping is liable to drastically reduce the quantity of water flowing into Israel, and cause environmental damage to the Jordan River and Lake Kinneret.

He added that water supply possibilities in Lebanon are endless, and Lebanon is not fully utilizing the water from the Litani River.

Peres said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would be discussing the Lebanese pumping from the Wazzani River in his talks Wednesday with US President George W. Bush. He has also asked French President Jacques Chirac to intervene.

He noted that in the past year, Lebanon has implemented three small-scale Hatzbani pumping projects for the local population near the river. Israel did not oppose the projects, although it was not informed of them in advance by the Lebanese, Peres said.

The current project is large-scale, however, and goes well beyond local demand, Peres said. According to Peres, the water is being diverted to areas that can be served by the Litani River.

The project is to draw water from the Wazzani tributary of the Hatzbani River, one of the main sources of water for the Jordan River [which flows into Lake Kinneret, the main source of drinking water for Israel].

According to Peres, the Hatzbani provides 9 percent of Israel’s drinking water. "We cannot and will not do without it," he said.

Peres was responding to a motion to the agenda from Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev.

Arab Movement for Change MK Ahmed Tibi told Peres that an Israeli water expert was interviewed on Israel Radio and said the Lebanese would be pumping five to six million cubic liters of water. "A nation does not launch a war over five million cubic meters of water," Tibi said. He called for meditation between Lebanon and Israel to ensure that the Lebanese can use the water and Israel is also not harmed.


(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post




(Arutz Sheva, December 19, 2002) The Central Elections Board is expected to respond at least partially affirmatively to the request by the Likud and Herut parties to disqualify two Arab parties from running in the upcoming national election. Herut, headed by MK Michael Kleiner, reported that it had submitted samples of statements by the MKs in question that prove their opposition to Israel as a Jewish State. These include:

* Ahmed Tibi, who is running on the Hadash-Taal list, said in 1999, "We hold that the Jewish character of the State of Israel must be annulled."

* His party leader Muhammad Barakeh said in Nov. 2000, shortly after the outbreak of the Oslo War, "We welcome and admire this intifada, and we think this is the right response at the right time."

* A sample from MK Azmi Bishara (Balad): "Hizbullah won, and for the first time since 1967 we have tasted the taste of victory."

MK Michael Eitan (Likud) said this morning that Tibi "always says he is against terrorism, but then says that killing Jewish civilians in Judea and Samaria, or IDF soldiers, is a part of 'legitimate struggle.'" Tibi said in response that he expects the Supreme Court to overturn his expected disqualification.

Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein added some goodies of his own against MK Azmi Bishara. Rubenstein said that Bishara told Hamas leaders in Hebron two years ago that he is "fighting the same war against Israel" as they are, and that Bishara had called upon Israeli-Arabs to form an army. "The main objectives of [Bishara's party] Balad are to negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish State, and to support the terrorist organizations' armed struggle against Israel," Rubenstein said today. He further noted that Bishara had advised Yasser Arafat to establish a united front with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, promising that Israeli-Arabs would stand by his side as "another front against Israel." Bishara denies having made these remarks.

Another request for disqualification was submitted by Labor against the #2 man on the Herut list, Baruch Marzel of Hevron. MK Effie Oshaya, Labor's Knesset faction head, told Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson today that Labor is not in favor of disqualifying entire lists -- "let the voting public decide" -- but that individual names on party lists is a different matter. Asked why Labor had not asked to disqualify Bishara or Tibi, Oshaya said, "Ask [Labor secretary-general MK] Ophir Pines -- it's his decision." Aides to Pines, however, said that he was not involved, and that Amnon Loch, one of Labor's representatives on the Elections Board, should be contacted.

Loch, in turn, said that Labor's request to disqualify Marzel was based on a book the Hevron activist had written about Baruch Goldstein [who, in 1994, killed scores of Arabs in the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron]. He further said that he had not yet seen the material against Bishara and Tibi that the Attorney-General presented, but "I can tell you that last time I voted to disqualify Bishara, but the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court. I cannot tell you how I will vote this time."

The decisions as to whom to disqualify will be made next week by the Elections Board, a 42-member body presided over by Supreme Court Justice Michael Cheshin. Each political party has at least one representative on the board, with larger parties receiving more representatives.

[Note: Mr. Zalmanson's claim that Labor is not in favor of disqualifying entire parties from the Knesset is not true, as Labor voted to disqualify the entire Kach party in 1984. Mr. Loch's implied assertion that he is unable to form an opinion as to whether Arab MKs Azmi Bishara and Ahmed Tibi have committed treason against the State of Israel until he has first seen the government's proof is disingenuous and absurd; for, it is similar to claiming that one is unable to form an opinion as to whether Adolph Hitler planned to annihilate the Jewish people without first seeing the Allied Powers' dossier on the mass murderer. The public declarations and the public activities of these Arab MKs are so well-known that anyone who reads a newspaper and/or watches television -- let alone a Labor party insider -- would be able to form such an opinion.]


MK Ahmed Tibi barred from Knesset race


(Jerusalem Post, December 31, 2002) The Central Elections Committee voted on Monday to disqualify MK Ahmed Tibi from running in the national elections on the grounds that he supports terrorism.

For the second time in two days, the committee ignored the recommendation of its chairman, Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin, and overwhelmingly voted in accordance with party orders. The vote was 21 to 18 with two abstentions.

Tibi, who knew early on that he would lose the vote, said he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the day, the committee rejected a petition to disqualify the entire Hadash-Tibi list by a vote of 27 - 1, with nine abstentions.

Tibi charged that his opponents had committed character assassination and deliberately distorted the things he had said in order to delegitimize him.

In an impassioned speech to a largely hostile forum, Tibi said, "Some of the statements attributed to me are untrue. Politicians have good times and bad times. There is no question that the past two years have been very difficult, especially for the Arab MKs. We have been kicked out of the community and delegitimized. We are being told we don't have the right to protest, to express a different opinion."

Tibi refused to declare unequivocally that he opposes Palestinian terrorism against civilians and the killing of soldiers, a condition that many of the committee members insisted on in order to vote against the disqualification bid.

He said he would not be treated like a "schoolchild" and do what he was told. But Tibi insisted that he opposes bloodshed, and had said so many times.

"I have never made one statement or declaration in favor of armed conflict," he said. "On the contrary, I was the first to say I oppose the militarization of the intifada."

The one moment of humor in his speech came when he said that he had been under pressure to overtly reject terrorism: "For the past three days, people have been sending me suggestions to say this or that. To make deals. What do they think? That I belong to the Likud?"

Even the Likud representatives laughed at that. But Likud MK Michael Eitan, who called for Tibi's disqualification, accused him of supporting terrorism. "Tibi calls the PLO a liberation movement," he said. "But the PLO consists of organizations whose aim is to destroy Israel."

Eitan added that Tibi did not hide the fact he supported the current intifada, which is an armed struggle against Israel. "In February 2002, he said, "When we were suffering one attack after another, and [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat didn't lift a finger to stop it, Tibi organized a delegation of Israeli Arabs to visit Arafat's headquarters. They told Arafat he should keep going, that he's the leader, that they are behind him. Two months later, Tibi praised Arafat again, saying he was standing firm against Israeli aggression. What is that, if not support for the armed struggle against Israel?"

Attorney Talia Sasson, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein's representative on the CEC, said Tibi's statements did not meet the criteria of the law for disqualification. The proof that Tibi supports armed struggle against Israel must be "absolute," and that this is not the case, she said.

Cheshin also argued that Tibi should not be disqualified. He said he was not convinced that Tibi supports terrorism. Although many of Tibi's statements were infuriating, Israel is a strong democracy with a large degree of tolerance, he said.

Cheshin also called on the CEC members to keep in mind that "Tibi is an Arab. He feels the pain of his people. That does not mean he should be disqualified. There is no question that his democratic right to stand for election outweighs the arguments for disqualifying him."


(c) 2002 The Jerusalem Post



(Arutz Sheva, December 31, 2002) The Election Committee ruled yesterday that Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, who has long served as an advisor to Yasser Arafat, may not run for Knesset. Tibi said that he would appeal the decision to the special Supreme Court body assigned to be the final arbiter on the eligibility of candidates.

Samples of Tibi's remarks in the past:

* In July 2001, he told a Jordanian newspaper that if the PA [Palestinian Authority] avenges the deaths of the three members of the [Arab] Tamizi family [by attacking Jews], "I will not condemn it." He was referring to the roadside killing a few days beforehand outside an Arab village, though it was not clear whether the murderers had been Jews or Arabs.

* In August of that year, Tibi took part in the funeral of arch-terrorist Abu Ali Mustafa in Ramallah, who had been killed by an Israeli missile. Tibi said that many of those leading the Palestinian violence against Israel are his personal friends.

* Last year, Tibi and MK Muhammed Barakeh met with the #2 man in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization, members of which had assassinated [Israel's Tourism Minister] Rehavam Ze'evi only weeks before.

* Earlier this year, Tibi had his immunity partially removed by the Knesset because of his strong praise for the Jenin terrorists and the strong fight they put up against IDF soldiers.

* In 1999, he said, "We hold that the Jewish character of the State of Israel must be annulled."

Sha'ul Mofaz and Moshe Feiglin [both of the Likud party] also plan to appeal their disqualifications, and the Labor Party plans to appeal the rejection of its request to disqualify Baruch Marzel [of the Herut party].

The Elections Committee will decide today whether to nullify Arab MK Azmi Bishara's candidacy, in light of his statements of support for Hizbullah and other comments reflecting his wish to see the end of Israel as a Jewish State. The State Prosecution has presented many statements he made in support of Hizbullah and armed struggle against Israel. Bishara also met with Hamas leaders in Hevron to whom he told that he is "fighting the same war against Israel" as they are. "The main objectives of [Bishara's party] Balad are to negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish State, and to support the terrorist organizations' armed struggle against Israel," according to Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein.


Knesset elections panel under fire


(Jerusalem Post, January 1, 2003) The Central Elections Committee has faced fierce criticism over the past two days for upholding the candidacy of an extreme right-winger, while disqualifying two Israeli-Arab candidates for their political views.

Former Kach leader Baruch Marzel has been approved as a candidate for the Herut Party, while lawmakers Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara are not being allowed to run in the January 28 balloting, despite recommendations to the contrary from the committee chairman, Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin and Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein.

One reason for the criticism is political. For ideological reasons, most supporters of the Left would have preferred Marzel to be disqualified and Tibi and Bishara approved. Had they enjoyed a majority in the committee, they would have seen to that result.

The more serious reason, however, is the fact that in this discussion, the only two officials who are non-political and who are experts on the law and experienced in interpreting it also maintained that Marzel should have been disqualified, and the Arab lawmakers approved.

There is no question that the criteria of the committee members in deciding whether to disqualify or approve the candidates who were challenged was overwhelmingly political. In the vote to disqualify Marzel on the grounds that he is anti-democratic, all the members of the Likud, Shas, Center Party, National Union, National Religious Party, United Torah Judaism, Herut, and Gesher voted against the motion. According to the unofficial records, one Labor representative also opposed the bid (but voted with Labor on the motion to disqualify Marzel for being a racist.) Six of the seven Labor representatives, and all of Meretz, Shinui, and the Arab representatives who were present voted to disqualify Marzel.

On the Tibi vote, all the Likud representatives voted to disqualify him as did all the representatives of Shas, Yisrael B'Aliya, Center Party, National Union, NRP, United Torah Judaism, Herut, and Gesher. All of Meretz voted to approve Tibi, as did the representatives of Shinui, Democratic Choice (MK Roman Bronfman, who is now a candidate for Meretz), and all six Arab representatives. Five Labor representatives voted against disqualifying Tibi, while two abstained.

Few, if any, were surprised by the outcome of the votes. The Central Elections Committee is a political body, based on the strength of each of the factions in the Knesset. Its prestige comes from the fact that it is headed by a Supreme Court justice. However, the chairman has only one vote, just like any other member.

Until 1985, this arrangement worked well. At that time, the committee was a technical body whose job it was to look after the administrative arrangements for the election, such as preparing the ballots and ballot boxes and setting up the polling stations.

Since 1985, the panel has become a quasi-judicial body because of two amendments to the Basic Law: Knesset, which give it the power to decide on petitions to disqualify candidates who allegedly violate Paragraph 7 (a) of the law.

The dramatic shift in the committee's role has taken place over the past 20 years in two stages. In 1985, the Knesset passed an amendment stating that anyone who championed racism or denied the Jewish and democratic character of the state could not run for parliament.

Last May, it expanded this to include anyone supporting acts of terror or armed struggle against Israel by an enemy country or a terrorist organization. It also stipulated that individuals, as well as entire lists, could be disqualified.

In doing so, the Knesset gave the committee a judicial role even though the law does not stipulate that its members must know the law or be qualified to determine what constitutes a violation.

Cheshin told the committee that this point has been made several times by the Supreme Court and that he himself had urged the Knesset to change the law so that the committee would not decide on such matters.

He also quoted from a ruling handed down by Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar in 1988, "This court pointed out [in earlier rulings] the problem of granting the authority to approve lists of candidates to a political body. The Knesset thought differently and left matters as they were, even after it passed Amendment 7 (a) to the Basic Law: Knesset. Anyone who expects a body made up of politicians to behave like judges is confusing apples with oranges."


(c) 2003 The Jerusalem Post

[Note: The news account is in error with respect to Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein -- like Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin, he voted in favor of Tibi; but unlike Justice Cheshin, he voted against Bishara and his Balad party. Nevertheless, it is absurd to imply that the views of the two "non-political" committee members, Justice Cheshin and Attorney General Rubinstein, are superior to those of the "political" committee members. Clearly, both of these "independent" members have their own ideological leanings, as they made amply clear by voting to (a) reject a Jewish candidate for Knesset who advocates far-reaching measures to safeguard Israel from both its external as well as its internal Arab enemies, and (b) approve one or more Arab candidates for Knesset who advocate a grand alliance between "Israeli" Arabs and Israel's external Arab enemies in order to destroy Israel as a Jewish State. Thank God that the "body made up of politicians" did not "behave like judges".]


High Court overturns disqualifications of Tibi, Bishara

By: Dan Izenberg

(Jerusalem Post, January 10, 2003) The High Court of Justice on Thursday overturned Central Elections Committee decisions to disqualify MKs Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara, and Bishara's party, Balad, from running in the elections to the 16th Knesset. It upheld the committee's decision to allow former Kach Party leader Baruch Marzel to run on the Herut Party ticket.

The court also upheld CEC decisions to disqualify Likud would-be candidates Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Feiglin on technical grounds.

The justices did not explain the reasons for their decisions, saying they will come at a later time.

The 11-member panel headed by Supreme Court President Aharon Barak also comprised Deputy President Shlomo Levin and Justices Eliahu Mazza, Tova Strasberg-Cohen, Dalia Dorner, Jacob Turkel, Dorit Beinisch, Izhak Englard, Eliezer Rivlin, Ayala Procaccia, and Edmond Levy.

The court was asked to decide whether the substance of the platforms and political messages of Tibi, Bishara, Balad, and Marzel rejected the Jewish and democratic nature of the state, incited to racism, or supported armed struggle against Israel.

The CEC had rejected Tibi, the No. 3 candidate on the joint Hadash-Arab National Movement (Ta'al) slate, on the grounds that he supported a terrorist movement in its violent struggle against Israel. In doing so, it rejected the opinions of its chairman, Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin, and Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein.

The justices unanimously rejected the CEC ruling.

The CEC had rejected Bishara and Balad despite the opinion of Cheshin, but in accordance with that of Rubinstein, who went so far as to submit his own petition to the CEC against the party and its leader. The CEC ruled that Bishara and Balad sought to destroy the Jewish character of the state and supported the armed struggle against it. The High Court ruled seven-to-four to overturn the CEC ruling, with Levin, Strasberg-Cohen, Turkel, and Levy voting against the bench majority.

The CEC had rejected a petition by Labor Party MK Ophir Pines-Paz to disqualify Marzel. Pines claimed that Marzel, the No. 2 candidate on the Herut Party list, continues to support the racist and terrorist aims of the outlawed Kach movement of which he had been a leader. The CEC rejected the petition, even though Cheshin and Rubinstein had backed it. The court rejected the appeal to overrule the CEC decision by seven to four, with Levin, Strasberg-Cohen, Beinisch, and Procaccia voting against the majority.

The court unanimously rejected the petition of Mofaz against his disqualification by the CEC on technical grounds. It upheld the CEC ruling on the grounds that Mofaz would not have completed the mandatory six-month cooling-off period between the day he left the army and the day of the general election. The court also upheld the CEC ruling declaring that Feiglin was ineligible to run for the Knesset because he had been sentenced to over three months in jail after being convicted of sedition, a crime the CEC had determined involved moral turpitude. Levy voted against the majority.

Adalah, the Israeli Arab human rights organization that represented the Arab candidates, issued a statement declaring that "the High Court decision proved that when the sides hold a rational discussion without belligerency, as opposed to the one in the Central Elections Committee, the outcome will be a positive one."

The court's decision to allow Tibi, Bishara, and Balad to run was a wise one, said Mordechai Kremnitzer, professor of law at Hebrew University and president of the Press Council. "It rejected the message sent out to the Arab community by the Central Elections Committee saying, 'You are about to lose your status as equal citizens in this country,'" he said.

He said the decision to allow Marzel to run was also a wise one, given the fact that he was one of three candidates and a political party that all faced disqualification.

"Had circumstances been different, if the question of Marzel had been the only one, the court's decision would have been different," according to Kremnitzer.


(c) 2003 The Jerusalem Post



[Arab MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe and his United Arab List party urge "Israeli" Arab voters to support jihad against Israel]

(Arutz Sheva, January 13, 2003) Calling it an ad of "incitement," Election Committee Chairman Justice Mishael Cheshin disqualified the United Arab List’s infomercial calling upon Arabs to "liberate al-Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] and to fight against Israeli occupation." MK Abdel Malek Dahamshe said that the text of the ad "was apparently not translated [from the Arabic language into the Hebrew language] correctly, which is why the judge disqualified it."

In a related story, MK Sopha Landver (Labor) has asked Justice Cheshin to disqualify a campaign ad produced by the Shas party [whose platform includes opposition to Christian missionary activities in the State of Israel, especially those which target new immigrants]. The ad in question shows a Jewish family undergoing a Christian baptism. Landver said that the ad is "very insulting" to the immigrant community.

Meanwhile, National Union party activists hit the intersections of Raanana and the Sharon area this afternoon with an attention-grabber. They handed out campaign material in the form of "Palestinian Passports" to passers-by in an effort to show the threats stemming from the creation of a Palestinian state.




(Arutz Sheva, January 22, 2003) The High Court of Justice has accepted a petition from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) against the ruling of Central Election Committee chairman Justice Mishael Cheshin. Cheshin had ruled that a PLO flag displayed in election infomercials of Arab parties was unacceptable. The Supreme Court reversed that decision and said that the PLO flag may appear, despite the still-undeclared state of war that exists between Israel and the PLO.

The Elections Committee recently disallowed the airing of a Herut Party infomercial featuring a satiric version of Israel's national anthem. The song, sung in Arabic on the backdrop of an Israeli flag merging with the PLO colors, emphasizes the desire of Arabs to take over Israeli cities [within pre-1967 Israel] such as Jaffa, Lod, and Acre.


Yad Vashem Gives Israeli Arabs Material Denying Nazis Ties Of Mufti

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara claimed in 1995 article that the Arabs had no connection to the Shoah (Holocaust)]

Aaron Lerner Date: 20 February 2003

IMRA asked Rachel Fadlon, Foreign Media Liaison at Yad Vashem, if the material Yad Vashem is providing to the Israeli Arab representatives of "From Memory to Peace" covers the Mufti of Jerusalem's ties to the Nazis.

"From Memory to Peace" is a group of Israeli Arab and Jewish public figures who will be visiting Auschwitz.

Fadlon advised IMRA today that the group was provided with two articles that each mention the Mufti in a few sentences. One was an article by a Lebanese intellectual while the other was an article written by Israeli Arab MK Azmi Bishara that was published in Zmanim, Summer 1995.

This is what Azmi Bishara wrote: "The Shoah and everything connected with it are a European phenomenon... We as Arabs have no connection to it ... the Palestinian national movement at least once considered ... making an alliance with Nazi Germany. This alliance did not come to fruition."

As Elliott A Green notes in an article published in Midstream, (May-June 2001), this is far from the case.

"Bishara conveniently overlooks the fact that the Mufti was active in the Nazi-fascist domain from November 1941 until the German defeat in May 1945. The Germans put considerable sums at his disposal to maintain himself and his entourage, which included other Palestinian Arabs from leading families, and to set up offices called "Buro der Grossmufti." In return, Husseini made propaganda broadcasts to the Arab world over Radio Berlin ("Kill Jews wherever you find them"), recruited Arab troops (among Allied prisoners of war) for an "Arab Legion," helped organize a Bosnian Muslim SS division (notorious for atrocities in its own right against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies), indoctrinated imams from the Soviet Union, and also broadcast in that direction, exhorting Soviet Muslims to support the Nazis, which some of them did by joining German-sponsored military units, and even the Einsatzgruppen.

In his discourse, Husseini explicitly identified Nazism with Islam. All of this surely sounds like an alliance, despite Bishara's apologetics. Significantly, Husseini urged the Germans to extend the Holocaust to [Jews residing in] Arab lands. Concretely, he intervened several times with German and Italian ministers and Axis satellite governments in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania, to prevent Jews from leaving the Axis domain. He specifically described Jewish children as a danger and urged that they be sent to Poland, where, in his words, they would be under "active supervision." It is likely (if not certain) that he himself visited one or more murder camps, while documents demonstrate that members of his entourage did so, escorted by SS officers. So he was well aware of what happened to Jewish children sent to Poland. After the war, the Mufti was enabled to return to the Middle East where he was again acclaimed the leader of the Palestinian Arabs.

This information has long been available in English and Hebrew, etc., for many years. Researchers who have written on the subject of Arab-Nazi relations and the Arab-Holocaust nexus include Bernard Lewis, Lukasz Hirszowicz, Elias Cooper, Daniel Carpi, Jenny Lebel, Joseph Schechtman, Bartley Crum, and others. Nevertheless, Bishara claims, "We Arabs have no connection to it" (the Holocaust), also ignoring the presence of other prominent Arab nationalists in Berlin during the war.

The Palestinian Arab political leadership constituted in the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine (led by Husseini) demanded throughout the 1930s an end to aliyah --Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel, which the international community had juridically erected as the Jewish National Home in 1920 at San Remo, mandating Britain to implement it (League of Nations ratification 1922). The British violated their mandate by satisfying this Arab demand with the 1939 White Paper severely restricting Jewish immigration to the internationally designated Jewish National Home on the eve of Holocaust, when no country wanted to take in more than a token number of Jewish refugees, if any. The White Paper effectively doomed hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews to die in the Shoah. But Azmi Bishara sees no Arab connection to the Holocaust."



[Arab MK Azmi Bishara participates in "Day of Solidarity with Iraq"]

(Arutz Sheva, March 23, 2003) "Day of Solidarity with Iraq." This was the theme of a day of demonstrations and protests held by Israeli-Arabs yesterday against the U.S. attack on Iraq. To the consternation of the Israeli-Arab leadership, however, only several thousand people took part. One of them was MK Azmi Bishara, who announced his Movement's solidarity with "the Iraqi nation and country." Bishara called for international intervention to stop the American assault.

Pro-Iraq rallies were reported again today in Gaza. Thousands of PA Arabs participated in pro-Iraq rallies in the PA yesterday and Friday, accompanied by the burning of American flags and shouts against the Untied States.

Tens of thousands of PA Arabs demonstrated on Friday in various cities against the American attack on Iraq. The demonstrations featured Iraqi flags, pictures of Saddam Hussein, and calls against the US and Israel, as well as against the Arab states that have offered assistance to the US and British forces. Pictures of Bin Laden were unfurled at some of the demonstrations. The PA Arab protesters had sharp words for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan's King Abdullah, and the rulers of Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar, calling them "dogs and traitors".

The PA protestors burned American flags and called for Saddam to bomb Tel Aviv with chemical weapons. Officials from the Palestinian Authority were not seen participating in the protests in Gaza, but neither was any effort made to remove pictures of Bin-Laden. In the past, in PA Arab demonstrations of joy following the WTC and Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, PA police took immediate action to remove pictures of Bin-Laden.



(Arutz Sheva, April 4, 2003) Azmi Bishara, a member of Israel's Knesset representing the Arab Balad party, cheered Iraqi resistance to American "invaders" in Iraq and praised a revitalized pan-Arabism in the al-Ahram Weekly (of March 27 - April 2, 2003), published in Egypt.

Bishara's article begins by describing the difficulties faced by the coalition forces in Iraq:

"The real Basra did not surrender. It refused to fall at the first sound of the bugle of advancing troops. The experts miscalculated.... They forgot that Basra is an Arab and Iraqi town, and that Iraq is a sovereign Arab state."

MK Bishara goes on to explain that "irrespective of what the Americans may do after the end of this war, whoever cooperates with them will not be cooperating with benign victors but with wily invaders."

Bishara goes on to praise the Iraqi resistance to the American "invaders," noting that the Iraqi resistance "is of great historic importance. This importance exceeds any losses the current regime and its supporters may endure." He writes that it will remind Israelis and Americans of the policy of violence used by the Hizbullah - successfully, in Bishara's view -- to remove the IDF and the South Lebanese Army from Lebanon.

Other choice quotes:

[S]olidarity with the Iraqis once again proves this most vital fact: Pan-Arabism is alive. Arab masses in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Syria did not take to the streets to support the Taliban. But they did to support Palestine and Iraq. What matters is not the slogans they chanted but the evidence of vitality they provided. The momentum of Pan-Arabism may -- if tapped -- provide the alternative political vision, the legitimate and democratic program, for which we have been waiting."

Arutz-7's Nissan Ratzlav-Katz notes that pan-Arabism is the philosophy calling for an Arab empire - either a supra-state in the Middle East, or at least a confederated "United States of Arabdom." In no versions of Baathism/pan-Arabism is there room for a Jewish State in the midst of the Arab supra-national homeland. As Syrian schoolbooks teach: Israel divides the "east of the Arab homeland from its west... preventing the establishment of Arab unity...." (National Socialist (Pan-Arab) Education for the Eighth Grade, Syria, 1998-1999, as reported by the Middle-East Media Research Institute, Washington DC)

With his recent al-Ahram Weekly article, Azmi Bishara makes it clear that while coalition forces are making every effort to destroy the Baathist infrastructure in Iraq, a representative of that same political world-view sits in the Israeli Knesset.


Israeli Arab MK Darawsheh joins ‘Fatwa’ Council in Condemning US-led War on Iraq

Press Conference Summary - ‘Fatwa’ Council Condemns US-led War on Iraq

April 5, 2003

Palestine Media Center – PMC [Official arm of the PA]


‘American Cowboys are Slaughtering Iraqi People Under the Pretext of Liberating Iraq’, Arab MK Darawsheh


Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and Member of the General Fatwa Council, condemned the US-led war on Iraq as "illegitimate", and called on the international community to stop the "aggressive" war on the Iraqi people.

In a press conference held at the Palestine Media Center (PMC) on Saturday and attended by Rafiq al-Natsheh, the minister of agriculture, and the Arab Knesset Member, Abdel Wahab Darawsheh, Sheikh Sabri announced a new fatwa by al-Fatwa Supreme Council in the occupied city of Jerusalem condemning the

US-led war on Iraq and "forbidding any Muslim from participating in that aggressive war or even give a hand to the veracious attackers…"

The highest Muslim authority in Palestine said that the US and British governments have launched their war on Iraq under "false pretexts", adding that the real aims of both is to maintain their grip on Iraqi oil fields.

"The US and Britain want to occupy Iraq to put their hands on the Iraqi oil fields, which represent the largest oil reserves in the world," the Sheikh said.

Sabri further accused the coalition forces of targeting Iraqi civilians and infrastructure "hoping that the Iraqi people would surrender or revolt against their leadership."

He mocked reports that the coalition forces were using "smart weapons" in their war on Iraq, adding that US and British missiles and bombs have killed "many Iraqi children, women and elderly and destroyed many civilian and cultural faculties."

For his turn, the PNA minister of agriculture, Rafiq al-Natsheh, said that the Palestinian people "condemn the aggression on Iraq because we have suffered greatly from the Israeli aggression and occupation of Palestinian land."

He added that the Palestinians "stand against any aggression on any people in the world" pointing out that the US and British "aggression will not stop at Iraq and that the entire Arab and Islamic worlds are targets."

Among the speakers was Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset, Abdel Wahab Darawsheh, who accused the American "cowboys" of "slaughtering the Iraqi people under the pretext of liberating Iraq."

Darawsheh said that Arab Israelis have organized protests against the US-led war on Iraq, which he described as "illegal" and was launched without the "umbrella of the international legitimacy."


Hanegbi: More Islamic Movement members face arrest

["Israeli" Arab MK Ahmed Tibi defends treasonous activities of the northern faction of Israel's Islamic Movement]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, May 14, 2003) The arrest of 15 leaders of the Islamic Movement of Israel's northern faction is only the first wave of detentions in the group's alleged illegal financial assistance to Hamas, Internal Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi said Tuesday.

Hanegbi told the Knesset Interior Committee that the probe into the movement started two years ago, looking into violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act, money laundering, and unlawful assembly.

Currently, it is concentrating on the alleged role the movement played as an intermediary in transferring funds from overseas to Hamas-affiliated organizations in the West Bank and Gaza.

He said the movement is likely to claim the money was for humanitarian needs, but "no distinction can be made between a terrorist organization's general infrastructure and its operational one." A terrorist organization cannot survive for long without resources, he said, claiming Hamas and Islamic Jihad receive enormous resources from terrorism-supporting states such as Iran via the Islamic Movement in Israel. The probe has not yet involved international agencies, but may as the investigation widens, he said.

Hanegbi cautioned against regarding the probe as an "indictment against the entire Arab-Israeli public," more than 99 percent of which is not involved in hostile activities. He added that the many members of the movement are not suspected of wrongdoing, but only individual leaders, such as main suspect Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the organization's northern faction. Hanegbi warned the leaders against inciting members for their personal defense.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Change), however, said the arrests have trigged an "all-out attack on the Israeli Arab public," which is being "stereotyped." Tibi charged that similar investigations in the past did not uncover any wrongdoing, and expressed hope the current case would also be closed. He added that the movement has a right to "conduct political activities."

MK Eliezer Cohen (National Union) warned that if terrorism is not eliminated "it will eliminate us," adding that terrorism is the monster that succeeded Nazism.

President Moshe Katsav took a more cautionary tone, warning against jumping to conclusions about those in custody. "We must allow law enforcement and security officials to complete their investigations."

Commenting on the arrests, President Moshe Katsav cautioned against leaping to conclusions about the guilt of Israeli Arabs who have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.

"We must allow law enforcement and security officials to complete their investigations," he said.

If they are indeed guilty, Katsav said, the Arab community should be pleased that those who represent a threat to peaceful coexistence have been apprehended and brought to justice. If they are not guilty, he continued, they will be released, and this, too, will be a relief for the Arab community.

Jews and Arabs alike should be concerned by any threat to the security of the State, he added.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


U.S. told us not to heed Israeli road map reservations

["Israeli" MK Ahmed Tibi serves as translator and confidant of P.A. Prime Minister Mamoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)]

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent 28 May 2003

[IMRA: "Moderate" Abu Mazen wants a Palestinian state next to an "Israeli" state within the Green Line flooded with Palestinian refugees = one Palestinian state + one binational Jewish/Palestinian state (for starters) with a constantly increasing Palestinian population. The idea behind having Israel declare an end to violence and incitement is to have Israel, in effect, admit it has been engaged in violence and incitement, and to straightjacket Israel so that it cannot defend itself either through operations or information (is the distribution of a press release connecting the PA to terror activities "incitement"?)]

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) skips easily over any attempt to extract a vehement comment against the occupation authorities or against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"I don't want to judge Sharon by what he says or by what's said about him," says Abu Mazen, adding with a smile, "I know him inside and out. I'll believe him only when he implements the road map. The implementation is the only test as far as I'm concerned. I'm not so interested in what he says and what's said about him."

Abu Mazen, in a brown suit, weighs his every word. Sometimes he pays attention to a comment from MK Ahmed Tibi, one of the people closest to him, who served as the translator for Abbas' first interview with an Israeli newspaper.

According to the Palestinian prime minister, the Americans proposed he not pay any attention to any of the talk about [Israeli] comments and reservations. They promised him they too would not allow Sharon evade a declaration about an end to [Israeli] violence and incitement, as required by the first article of the road map.

Abbas says that he told Sharon that the security services in the West Bank have been totally destroyed and that 70 percent of the services were demolished in Gaza.

One of the issues that prompts Abu Mazen to issue a vehement statement is Arafat's isolation. "Arafat is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and should not be isolated. I reject, both morally and politically, all the pressure on countries and personages not to meet him. That has ramifications for the Palestinian street and for us in the leadership. It is difficult for me to explain to our citizenry that we have a new government, conducting open negotiations with Israel and our president is isolated in the Muqata.

"If we go back to the cycle of reaction and action, that will make it difficult for us to achieve the goal. It is impossible to achieve 100 percent success in a brief period. It is important that the Palestinians see change on the ground, like a cessation of the assassinations and demolitions, and prisoners being freed, and the Palestinian civilian should feel something has changed in the atmosphere and he can go to work and move around. These things are critical so the street supports the process. That will accelerate the process and prevent more suffering."

He does not conceal his view that the intifada caused great damage to the Palestinian cause. But he makes clear there is no greater folly than the claim that the intifada was planned in advance.

"There was no conspiracy or planning - on our side," he says, emphasizing "our side."

"The circumstances that led to it were mostly the failure of the negotiations at Camp David and the Israeli media's portrayal of the talks as an absolute failure. Another factor was the continuing settlement activity. You can't imagine how powerful an influence that has on the Palestinian public. It creates the impression that a peaceful solution cannot be achieved. And there was another factor -- Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. As a result, 22 Palestinians were killed. The intifada began with Palestinian rocks and Israel responded with killing, and it was all compounded by the sensitivity of Al Aqsa."

Asked about a hudna, an Islamic truce, he says that he would not make do with that. "I don't to want to talk about a hudna, but about absolute calm. "That's what he is demanding from the Hamas "clearly and frankly."

"We hope and think it is important to control the violence, put an end to it, and we expect the Israelis to understand that even if here and there some violent incidents take place, we don't agree to it.

The refugee issue, considered most sensitive of all, is also known as particularly close to the heart of the refugee from Safed. After reiterating that the "refugee problem is a subject for discussion in the permanent status negotiations and should not be brought up as a precondition," he proposes a substantive reason for postponing it to the end.

"We cannot accept relinquishing the right of return. The Arab League initiative refers to a just and agreed solution, based on UN decisions. That is a very clear statement." But then he adds immediately, "this does not mean we want to destroy the State of Israel -- we recognize it in the borders drawn by [Resolution] 242."

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis


[Note: With respect to this article, all bracketed comments and insertions, except for the one related to MK Tibi and except for this note, are from IMRA. The referenced "roadmap" is a diplomatic undertaking by the international community, led by the United States, to create a "Palestinian" state in unspecified portions of Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza in exchange for the termination of the Arab war against Israel. Since, in its present form, the "roadmap" will result in the creation of a venal police state exuding terrorism, Israel has attached to its participation in the undertaking 14 conditions, upon which it may or may not be able to stand fast.]


["Israeli" Arab MK] Bishara to Arab world: Don't recognize Israel as Jewish State

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2003) Balad leader Azmi Bishara opposes Israel's demand that the Arab world recognize it as a "Jewish State," saying Wednesday that the matter was raised to force Palestinians to forgo the right of return, a right he said that has UN backing.

"Does the Arab world have to join the Zionist movement and recognize Israel as the Jewish State? Who has ever heard of such a thing?" he said in the Knesset during a debate on the Aqaba summit.

Balad's platform calls for Israel to be defined as a "state of all of its citizens."

A dozen MKs raised motions to the Knesset agenda on the summit.

Likud and coalition chairman Gideon Sa'ar criticized the road map and the government's approval of it. "The road map is one-sided, unbalanced, and bad for Israel," he said, expressing concern in particular about the involvement of international forces.

MK Yuri Stern (National Union) said that if the Aqaba summit leads to another cease-fire it will in the end "bring on another, but more difficult war." Stern said the road map has not corrected any of the mistakes of the Oslo Accords.

Likud MK Michael Eitan demanded that the US release Jonathan Pollard from prison as its contribution to Israel for advancing the peace process. "Israel has taken a security risk and released murderers at the request of the US," Eitan said. He added that Pollard is "sitting in prison for a crime that did not harm US security."

Minister Gideon Ezra, the Knesset liaison, said the government is continuing to handle the Pollard matter "discreetly," and has raised the issue in talks with the US government. He declined to say when the matter was last discussed.

National Religious Party MK Gila Finkelstein said Israel must also demand the return of Israel's missing soldiers and Elhanan Tannenbaum.

Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev launched a harsh attack on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, saying he has "lost his credibility," after leading Israel to the road map and calling for an "end to the occupation." He said Sharon would not have been elected if he had revealed his views.

["Israeli" Arab] MK Abdul Malik Dehamshe (United Arab List) said the Aqaba summit has "created an historic opportunity that cannot be missed." He said he is not sure when another chance for peace will arise.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Although, by his effusive praise for the Aqaba summit and the "chance for peace", MK Dehamshe might appear to be more reconciled to the existence of Israel as a Jewish State than is MK Bishara, it is nonetheless clear from Dehamshe's past actions -- such as referring to Nazareth, which is inside pre-1967 Israel, as "Nazareth, Palestine" in a widely-publicized letter to the President of Syria, a nation which does not recognize juridical existence of Israel and still considers itself to be in a state of war therewith (see the April 19, 2001 and April 24, 2001 items in this Compendium) and such as publicly declaring that he longs to become a "shahid" (martyr) in the "Palestinian" Arab jihad against Israel (see the September 12, 2001 item in this Compendium) -- that he shares with MK Bishara the pan-Arab goal of dismantling the Jewish State.]


Court upholds remand of Islamic Movement leaders

["Israeli" Arab MKs demand that Israel immediately release "Israeli" Arab terror financiers from government detention]


(Jerusalem Post, June 13, 2003) Tel Aviv District Court Deputy President David Bar-Ophir on Thursday upheld a lower court decision to remand five leaders of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement [of Israel] including its leader Sheikh Ra'ed Salah until June 19.

Ruling against the appeal, Bar-Ophir noted that "the outlines of the indictment are growing clearer: Violations of the Money-Laundering Law, violations of the Emergency Defense Regulations, violations involving illegal organizations, and widespread contacts with [terrorist] organizations, and the list is not yet exhausted."

According to the testimony gathered so far, wrote Bar-Ophir, the Islamic Movement "spreads a safety net for the families of terrorists who have been killed in operations perpetrated against the State's citizens and for security prisoners and their families.

"In other words, movement leaders, including those petitioning, are directly linked to terrorist organizations and extend to them economic help. This aid is channeled through the Islamic movement in Israel by way of illegal organizations abroad."

The Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership, composed of Arab MKs, [Arab] council heads, and prominent [Arab] public figures, held a press conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon to protest against the arrests and continued detention of leaders of the Islamic Movement's northern faction, including Sheikh Raed Salah and Umm el-Fahm Mayor Dr. Suleiman Agbariya.

Salah, Agbariya, and three other senior members of the movement's northern branch were remanded Sunday for a further 12 days on suspicion of funneling millions of dollars raised abroad via Israel to organizations affiliated with Hamas. Some of the money was allegedly used to support families of so-called martyrs.

Seventeen suspects were arrested initially following a two-year-long covert inquiry by police and the Shin Beit. Most of the other suspects have been released on bail or placed under house arrest.

The Monitoring Committee is calling for an immediate release, charging that the arrests are politically rather than legally based.

Asked why the Committee is supporting Islamic Movement members, who are suspected of helping finance the civilian infrastructure of Hamas whose leaders, including Gaza Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, consistently call for the destruction of Israel, Committee spokesman Abed Inbitawi said: "These people are representatives of the Arab community [of Israel], and we see their arrest as a blow not just to the Islamic Movement, but to the whole of the Arab community [of Israel] and its leadership."

"Furthermore, we believe they have not broken any laws and that this will eventually come to light. Giving help to orphans and widows is not a crime. The National Insurance Institute [of Israel] also provides assistance to orphans without regard to how their father or mother died," said Inbitawi.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in a rally in Umm el-Fahm football stadium on Friday evening to protest against the continued detention, and to press for their immediate release.

The demonstration is being organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in coordination and with the support of the Monitoring Committee.

While denouncing Wednesday's suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem and lamenting the loss of innocent lives, the Committee roundly condemned Tuesday's assassination attempt on Rantisi, calling it a "grave escalation" because he is viewed as a political leader.

"This shows that the real intention of the government, headed by [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon and [Defense Minister Shaul] Mofaz, is not to move toward peace, but rather to destroy any political process that could eventually lead to a real, just and lasting peace," the Committee said.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: It is outrageous for the Monitoring Committee to equate the treasonous activities of the Islamic Movement with the benign activities of the National Insurance Institute. While, in the past, the Institute has been forced to pay out death benefits to the spouses and children of dead "Israeli" Arab terrorists (as a result of the lack of any provision in Israel's death benefit law allowing the Institute to withhold death benefits in such cases), the Islamic Movement has voluntarily undertaken to support the terrorists of Hamas. Accordingly, although the families of dead "Israeli" Arab terrorists have been the unintended beneficiaries of Israel's largesse, the terrorists of Hamas have been the intended beneficiaries of the Islamic Movement's largesse.]


Interior Ministry razes controversial Nazareth mosque

["Israeli" Arab MK Abdel Malik Dahmashe accuses "axis of evil" members Israel and the United States of implementing a "new Crusade" against Islam]

By Matthew Gutman

(Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2003) In a move that was received with relative quiet, demolition crews sent by the Interior Ministry and backed up by 500 police razed the foundations of Shihab a-Din Mosque in Nazareth, following a long battle over the site.

The demolition follows years of intense sporadic pressure on the government by the US, the Vatican, and the Shin Bet to remove the half-built mosque, which, if completed according to plan, would overshadow the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The move to raze the illegally-built structure is considered part of the steady deterioration of Israeli Arab relations with the government.

"This is a war against Islam," charged MK Abdel Malik Dahamshe of the United Arab List. He also alleged that the demolition represents a "new Crusade of the Bush-Sharon axis of evil against Islam. It's no wonder that on same day, they demolish the foundations of the mosque in Nazareth, they announce [supervised] visits [of small groups of Jews and other non-Muslims] on the Temple Mount."

Aside from some heated rhetoric, the Islamic Movement's reaction was relatively mild, despite past threats that such a demolition would result in a "sea of blood."

Brief demonstrations outside the mosque, followed by subdued scuffling with police resulted in the arrest of 10 demonstrators.

Concern about the possibility of riots prompted the deployment in the mosque area of 500 police, including border police and special units, in the pre-dawn hours.

Among those arrested were Deputy Mayors Salman Abu Ahmed and Ahmed Zoubi. Abu Ahmed, the head of the Nazareth branch of the Islamic Movement, was arrested shortly after the demolition began. He and Zoubi were taken to Acre Prison for questioning. Their detention for disturbing the peace and interfering with police is to last three days.

Conspicuously absent from the day's events was Mayor Ramez Jureisi, a communist, but Christian by birth. Islamic Movement officials accused him of conspiring with police and Interior Ministry officials to raze the foundations.

Uzi Shamir, director-general of the Construction and Housing Ministry, said that the government is working to diffuse the tension. "The government is negotiating with the Wakf to find a solution to the problem for the Muslims who want to pray at the site. We hope to find an alternate site for the mosque."

While the mosque's foundations were leveled, the demolition crews did not touch Shihab a-Din's shrine located in an adjacent chapel. In fact, Shamir said, his ministry intends to renovate the site, and provide it with alternative access once the municipal square is completed in three months.

In a heated meeting among Nazareth's Wakf, the Islamic Movement, and city officials, a Wednesday strike was called to protest the demolition. In addition, the Islamic Movement is planning a large rally Friday in an effort to show its dismay with the government's decision.

Leaflets were distributed in the city Tuesday afternoon calling for Muslims to flock the Shihab a-Din site to pray and demonstrate.

In an open letter from the Arab Higher Committee to Islamic Movement officials, Israeli Arab political parties and journalists slammed the decision to raze the mosque calling it a "ploy that reeks of political intentions."

Higher committee official Abed Anabtawi told The Jerusalem Post that the move is in line with the government's unfair treatment of the Arab community in general and "emblematic of its manipulation of Nazareth in particular." He believes that the decision, which coincided with a government decision to begin allowing Jews on the Temple Mount, was intended both to gain the sympathies of the Christian West and to draw attention away from last week's indictment of Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah.

Police arrested Salah and four other Islamic Movement leaders on suspicion of funneling funds to terror groups.

"How can it be that for protesting, Abu Ahmed and Zoubi remain in prison after 12 hours while in the settlements people arrested for striking soldiers are detained for only an hour and released," Anabtawi asked.

When asked why the Islamic Movement and the Higher Arab Committee had remained virtually mum throughout the day, Anabtawi responded that people were afraid of the police, "and with reason," alluding to the October 2000 clashes with police which led to the deaths of 13 Israeli Arabs.

"What do you expect?" said Prof. Rafael Israeli, of Hebrew University, an expert on radical Arab politics. "Their top leader [Raed Salah] is in prison. He was the main person who inflamed the whole situation from the beginning."

With the group's other leaders also facing charges that could land them in prison, Israeli believes that the leaders left to pick up the pieces are wary of doing anything that might land them in prison as well.

One leader of the Christian group which lobbied against the mosque compared the rise of Islamic movements in the Middle East with the rise of the Nazi and Communist parties in Europe in the 20th century.

"The Israeli Islamic Movement has expressly stated that it wants to take over Israel eventually by subduing the population, and gaining the majority either by demography or violence," he said.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Labor's Sneh says government too afraid of Hizbullah to act on Wazzani diversion

["Israeli" Arab MK Issam Mahoul declares that the claim of an Iranian missile threat to Israel is a fabrication, and that Israel should give up its nuclear arsenal]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2003) Labor MK Ephraim Sneh criticized the government on Wednesday for inaction on the Lebanese diversion of the Wazzani River, saying it is failing to act because of the Hizbullah rocket threat.

Sneh was speaking to the Knesset on a motion to the agenda on Iran's trial of the Shihab-3, a ballistic missile that can strike Israel.

He said besides its rapidly advancing nuclear program, Iran has also positioned some 10,000 Katyusha rockets along the northern border via Hizbullah.

According to Sneh, one in five Israelis is within rocket-striking range. He said the rocket threat is "already having an impact on the decision-making in Israel," citing inaction on the Wazzani River as an example. Sneh said never in its history has Israel agreed to let another country siphon off its water.

The Wazzani diversion was carried out when the Labor Party was a partner to the national unity government.

Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim disagreed with Sneh's analysis of the Wazzani situation, saying in this case Israel did not decide to launch a war over water like it did in the 1960s, choosing instead to work on the problem quietly through diplomatic channels.

Regarding Iranian weapons development, Boim said the IDF is investing "great efforts" in following the Iranian program, which Israel views as a serious threat to regional and international stability. He said the international community should be questioning Iranian efforts to develop missiles that have a range of thousands of kilometers.

Hadash MK Issam Mahoul said Sneh's story of the Iranian threat reminded him of the one told by US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair a "few months ago about nonexistent Iraqi nuclear weaponry."

Mahoul added that if Israel wants the Shihab-3 development to stop, it should not develop the Jericho-2. He said testing is being conducted on the Jericho-2 in the Indian Ocean and by three nuclear submarines stationed in Haifa Port. He called for regional nuclear nonproliferation.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Firstly, the notion of an Iranian missile threat to Israel emanates, not from Israel, but rather from Iran. Hamidreza Assefi, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official, recently stated that Iran's successful launch of the Shihab-3 long range missile demonstrated Iran's ability to strike Israel. Secondly, it is highly unlikely that MK Mahoul -- who, in any case, does not accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State -- really believes that if Israel destroys its nuclear weapons, thereby crippling its deterrent posture, Iran would then follow suit by abandoning its own efforts to develop nuclear weapons and its plan to use them against (a weaker, non-nuclear) Israel.]


Palestinians who marry Israelis won't get citizenship

[Arab MKs attack temporary suspension of Israel’s family unification policies]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2003) Palestinians who marry Israelis [i.e., “Israeli” Arabs] or have other first-degree Israeli family ties won't be able to stay or reside in Israel or apply for citizenship under a government law approved by the Knesset on Thursday.

The law will be in effect for one year, after which it must be renewed annually by the Knesset.

The measure was approved in a 53-25 vote. Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs did not attend the vote. Likud MK Majali Whabee also did not vote.

The Sharon government halted family unification requests in April 2002 following the bombing of the Matza restaurant in Haifa that was perpetrated by a Palestinian Hamas terrorist who had obtained citizenship and a blue identity card when he married an Israeli Arab. Since then, the government has also expressed support for the measure as a means of halting the trend of Israeli-Palestinian couples establishing their home in Israel.

Under the law, the interior minister will retain the right to approve citizenship for Palestinians or their family members who "identify with Israel," or have made economic or security contributions to the state. The minister may also grant visitation rights for medical treatment or work purposes.

Palestinians who applied for citizenship or residency before the law was approved may be given a temporary permit to stay in Israel.

The law affects "residents of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, excluding Israeli settlements" even if the are not listed in the population registry.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Arab Movement for Change) said the law is "inhumane" because it "bans marriage between Palestinians and Israelis." Tibi said the law contradicts the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom. He said he would not have been able to get citizenship for his wife if the law had been passed when he got married.

Likud MK Ehud Yatom said Shin Bet director Avi Dichter had informed the Interior Committee that there have been 19 cases of Palestinians, especially in east Jerusalem, who used blue identity cards obtained through family reunification to carry out terror attacks that claimed the lives of 87 people.

According to Yatom, the requests are overwhelmingly for Palestinian men to join wives in Israel, which Dichter told the committee is "abnormal in the Arab world in which women follow their husbands."

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin expressed opposition to the law, saying that it is making a "person guilty until proven innocent." He asked the government why the law had to be so sweeping and whether the current law enables the rejection of requests on security reasons.

National Union MK Yuri Stern, chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, said that according to the law today the interior minister has the right to halt entry and the citizenship application process for security reasons. However, Stern said that in many cases there were "no signs of security risks."

Stern also said that since the Oslo accords were signed the number of family unification requests has doubled.

Meretz MK Roman Bronfman said there are already enough tools to fight terror, adding that the legislation was brought to the Knesset "one year late." Bronfman said the legislation is also unnecessary because there is already a staged process whereby people who have a criminal or security record are investigated and can be rejected.

Meretz MK Yossi Sarid that besides the fact that the legislation is "unJewish" he warned that its passage would spark a wave of international protest. "The EU and UN will make our life miserable," he said. Sarid also said he feared it would encourage anti-Semitism.

Hadash leader Mohammed Barakei said that people who had "suffered so much from racism should be ashamed to bring such a bill."

MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe (United Arab List) said the law was in effect implementing "transfer."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Whether Israel’s family unification policies have permitted legions of Arab terrorists to infiltrate Israel or whether the vast majority of these Arab immigrants are, in truth, relatively patient souls who, while implacably opposing Israel's right to remain a Jewish State, will not presently engage in a violent insurrection against the State is quite beside the point. The real issue is whether one believes that the State of Israel, nonetheless, has the moral right to shape its immigration policies so as to maintain its large Jewish majority in perpetuity. Since 1967, there have been over 200,000 "Palestinian" Arabs who became legal residents of Israel by marrying "Israeli" Arabs. Additionally, there are presently another 100,000 "Palestinian" and "Jordanian" Arabs who illegally reside in Israel, mostly in "Israeli" Arab villages that conceal them from Israel’s immigration authorities and thereby shelter them from deportation. Since these Arab immigrants have served to increase Israel’s Arab population by more than 25%, and since the birthrate of Arabs residing in Israel is among the highest in the world, this Arab immigration adds fuel to a demographic conflagration that seeks to "lawfully" convert Israel from the only Jewish State into a third "Palestinian" state (after Jordan and Judea-Samaria-Gaza). That this Arab immigration is a facet of the almost century long Arab war against any Jewish sovereignty in any portion of the biblical Land of Israel is evidenced by the fact that, in violation of the universal cultural norm prevailing among the Arabs which dictates that an Arab wife must relocate to the abode of her Arab husband, "Palestinian" Arab husbands have instead been relocating to the abodes of their "Israeli" Arab wives, thereby chipping away at the present Jewish demographic advantage in the State of Israel. This massive Arab immigration is nothing less than a back-door implementation of the pan-Arab demand for a "right of return" to the State of Israel in favor of those Arab belligerents and their families who fled Israel during its 1948 War of Independence as well as their multigenerational descendants -- now aggregating to some 4,400,000 hostile revanchists and irredentists.]


[Arab MK] Dahamshe denies collusion with prisoners and terrorists


(Jerusalem Post, November 27, 2003) Israeli Arab leaders are to meet in emergency session on Saturday to decide how to protest against allegations that United Arab List MK Abdel Malek Dehamshe colluded with security prisoners while visiting them in jail.

The allegations, which Israeli Arab leaders denounced, were reported in Ma'ariv. They prompted some right-wing MKs to call for the lifting of Dehamshe's parliamentary immunity, even though such a request can only be made by the attorney-general.

Dehamshe categorically rejected the insinuations, calling them a blood libel. He offered to set aside his immunity and challenged those behind the allegations to produce evidence to substantiate their claims.

According to the Ma'ariv report, Dehamshe's numerous visits to security prisoners, including terrorists convicted of killing Israelis, raised suspicions in the security establishment.

The report said a secret dossier had been drawn up by the Shin Beit and the Prisons Service that includes intelligence information about Dehamshe's visits to the security prisoners, some of whom were classified as being highly dangerous.

A senior source in the Prisons Service was quoted as saying that Dehamshe had met with a group of imprisoned terrorists this past week. According to the report, the source said it is now being examined whether messages were relayed between prisoners in various jails "through the auspices of a Knesset member."

The report also maintained that the security establishment had received information that Arab MKs in similar visits to imprisoned terrorists had assisted in relaying messages to Palestinian activists in the territories.

"We view these so-called revelations as part of a deliberate, ongoing campaign by the government and the establishment to delegitimize the Arab community in Israel and especially its leaders," said Abed Inbitawi, spokesman for the monitoring committee of the Israeli Arab leadership.

"The activities of Dehamshe in visiting political prisoners is not new or secret and he received the prior permission of the authorities. These allegations are yet another blow to democracy and the legitimate political activities of Arab MKs. It is a great pity that some elements of the press in Israel appear to be playing into the hands of the establishment in this respect. We have called an emergency meeting of the secretariat of the monitoring committee for Saturday morning to discuss ways of opposing this campaign and the baseless allegations against Dehamshe with all the democratic and legitimate means at our disposal."

The possibility of a libel suit and a media campaign on the local and international levels will be on the meeting's agenda, Inbitawi told The Jerusalem Post.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Meetings [by Arab MK Dehamshe] with [Arab] security prisoners [in Israel’s prisons] raise concern


(Jerusalem Post, November 27, 2003) United Arab List MK Abdel Malek Dehamshe submitted 80 requests to the Prisons Service two weeks ago asking to meet with hard-core security prisoners responsible for the murders of dozens of Israelis, a security official told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday. "Not once has he met with Palestinians or Arabs incarcerated for criminal offenses," the official added.

The official said Dehamshe himself was once a security prisoner, who later studied law, became a lawyer, and began representing security prisoners.

Last year, Dehamshe was caught smuggling a cellphone to a security prisoner incarcerated in a military jail, the official said.

"Nothing was done about it," the official added. "Days after he visits security prisoners, the Palestinian press and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Web sites publish statements made by Dehamshe that are often inciting. Ten days ago on the Hamas Web site he called on all security prisoners to refuse the restrictions imposed on them."

The official said Prisons Service officials can monitor Dehamshe's meetings with prisoners from a distance, but have to protect him because of his status as an MK.

Dehamshe, the official said, insists on meeting with arch terrorists affiliated with all the terrorist organizations, including Fatah Tanzim, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and inmates such as Marwan Barghouti, Samir Kuntar, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in the North, and many others.

The official said that since Ya'acov Ganot became Prisons Service commissioner six months ago, an intensive operation has been launched in all the prisons where security prisoners are incarcerated, splitting up the hard-core terrorist leadership and scattering them in different jails, and forbidding physical contact between security prisoners and relatives during visits, in an attempt to halt the transmitting of messages and instructions between inmates and terrorist groups.

"Now all visits to security prisoners are conducted behind partitions and they speak over a phone to those visiting them," the official said, adding that despite the drastic steps, there are constant attempts by [Arab] lawyers and [Arab] relatives to smuggle or transmit messages from operatives to prisoners.

According to the official, Prisons Service wardens have stepped up their daily security checks and confiscate weapons and cellular phones.

"Today, a security prisoner transferred from the army to the Prisons Service hid a cellular phone in his rectum," the official said.

Several months ago security forces found an explosives belt hidden in a washing machine in Abu Dis that was to be used in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The attack was planned from inside Eshel Prison, the official said.

In April, a Shin Bet report noted a sharp increase in attempts by security prisoners to plan terrorist attacks and transfer messages from prisoners to operatives, particularly those affiliated with Hamas and Fatah Tanzim. The report noted that the thousands of Palestinians incarcerated in military and civilian prisons turn the lockups into terrorist nests.

Dehamshe, a member of the Islamic Movement on the United Arab List, said the allegations are a total fabrication, adding that he visits prisoners on a regular basis as part of his public duty to monitor their conditions.

Dehamshe said he usually writes to the Prisons Service and the Internal Security Ministry about the conditions he finds after such visits. He said the allegations against him appear to be an attempt to prevent him from speaking out.

Dehamshe said he is fully aware of his responsibilities as an elected representative and has never done anything illegal, even though he was jailed some 30 years ago for alleged security offenses.

Dehamshe made his remarks in the Knesset, and later argued with National Union MK Yuri Stern in the corridors after learning that Stern's party had reportedly distributed flyers portraying several Arab MKs behind bars.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), who heads the Knesset Ethics Committee, called on the law enforcement authorities to quickly end their inquiries and put Dehamshe behind bars "with the murderous terrorists he visits."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Israel prepares for fence case

[Arab MK Muhammed Barakei, accusing Israel of war crimes for building its security fence, volunteers to testify against Israel at the U.N.'s International Court of Justice; Arab MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe will also testify against Israel if requested]

By Herb Keinon and Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, January 15, 2004) Israel wants countries that voted against or abstained on the UN resolution sending the security fence issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to submit written statements to the court saying the fence is not a matter the ICJ should deal with.

Seventy-four countries abstained on the vote, and another eight voted against, with a number of them saying that sending the issue to the court sets a bad precedent, and that this type of political issue is beyond the court's purview. Some 90 countries, including allies such as Turkey and India, voted in favor of the resolution.

Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker was in the US over the weekend talking to his counterpart in the State Department, William Howard Taft IV, about whether or not the US, which voted with Israel against the fence, will submit a written statement.

Israel, "Palestine," and the UN have been asked by the 15-member court to present written statements by January 30. All other UN member states are also entitled to submit written statements, if they desire. Jordan and Egypt have already indicated they will do so.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened a strategy session on the issue Monday night. Officials involved said Sharon is keeping his strategy very close to his chest, and does not want to reveal Israel's line of defense, or even whether it will recognize the right of the court to hear the case.One senior official said only that Israel will present a written statement, and that it will "express its opinion on the nature of the proceedings."

The official would neither deny nor confirm that Israel will argue that the fence -- which Israeli officials are now calling the anti-terrorism fence -- is a defensive measure permitted under international law to stop terrorism.

Some three weeks after the written statements are presented, on February 23 [,2004], oral arguments before the court will begin.

Israel has not yet decided whether to send anyone to the court to present an oral statement.

Jerusalem is concerned the oral statements will turn into an anti-Israel circus, with the Palestinians and Arab states expected to take advantage of the forum and accuse Israel of everything from war crimes to genocide.

Hadash MK Muhammad Barakei sent a letter to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Wednesday offering to serve as a witness and provide evidence in the case on the fence.

Barakei, whose proposal was sent on official Knesset letterhead, said the fence is being established on "occupied Palestinian land" and causing the imprisonment in "ghettos" of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. He categorized the fence as "war crimes."

Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim (Likud) asked Acting Attorney-General Edna Arbel to indict Barakei for attempting to harm state security and its foreign relations.

He also appealed to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin to remove Barakei from his post as a deputy speaker as a result of his move.

Boim said Barakei was "cynically exploiting" and "disgracing the Knesset" as an institution that above all else represents Israeli sovereignty.

Rivlin said he regretted Barakei's move, but believed that the real message his testimony would send would be the greatness of Israel as a democratic state.

He noted that it would be necessary for 90 MKs to support a request to oust a deputy speaker after receiving such a recommendation from the Knesset House and Ethics Committees.

United Arab List MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe said there was no difference between Barakei's move and the acts of Jewish MKs who took a part in the Geneva Accord. In both cases, the MKs acted in contradiction to the policies of the government. "The Knesset does not represent the government," he said. He said he would not volunteer to testify but would do so if asked.

Knesset House Committee chairman Roni Bar-On called on Barakei to appear before the court as a private citizen.

Five teams, coordinated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau chief, Dov Weisglass, are drawing up plans for dealing with the different aspects of the ICJ proceedings.

Baker is leading the legal team; Foreign Ministry Director-General Yoav Biran is dealing with diplomatic aspects of the case; Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's military secretary, Brig.-Gen. Mike Herzog, is dealing with military aspects of the fence; former ambassador to the US Meir Rosenne will coordinate efforts to combat the Arab arguments among NGOs and Jewish organizations; and Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Public Affairs Gideon Meir will deal with the various public relations aspects of Israel's campaign.

Israel is currently negotiating with two international public relations firms to help it craft its message during the propaganda battle that is sure to accompany the proceedings.

Sharon will meet early next week with an inter-ministerial committee overseeing the preparations, that includes Mofaz, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Industry, Trade, and Labor Minster Ehud Olmert, and Justice Minister Yosef Lapid.

The UN General Assembly asked the court in December to give an advisory position on "What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying power, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around east Jerusalem?"

One of the imponderables is whether the court will merely answer this question, or use it as a jumping off point to deal with any number of questions, such as settlements and the legality of Israel's presence in the territories.

Israeli officials have expressed some concern over the composition of the court, which includes judges from Egypt and Jordan.

The Egyptian judge, Nabil Elaraby, is a former Egyptian UN ambassador who represented Egypt at the arbitration panel that adjudicated the Taba issue [against Israel] following the Camp David accord. Prior to his appointment to the ICJ in 2001, Elaraby was interviewed by the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram and said "Israel is occupying Palestinian territory, and the occupation itself is against international law." Israel has not yet decided whether it will ask for Elaraby to be removed from the case.

In addition to Elaraby and the Jordanian judge, there are also judges from the US, France, China, Brazil, Japan, Madagascar, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Sierra Leone, and Russia. The judges are selected by the UN and serve seven-year terms.

Justice Minister Lapid recently warned that, as a result of the ICJ decision, Israel could find itself facing the types of sanctions which were imposed on apartheid South Africa.

International pressure on South Africa began in earnest after a 1971 ICJ decision that ruled South Africa's rule over Namibia was illegal. This led to international sanctions against South Africa and the independence of Namibia some 20 years later.

One scenario Israel is bracing itself for is a ruling that the fence is indeed illegal under international law. This would then go back to the General Assembly which would likely vote another resolution calling for countries to impose sanctions on Israel if it does not stop building and remove the fence. The sanctions would only be binding if such a resolution were to pass the Security Council, unlikely considering the likelihood of a US veto.

Nevertheless, such a ruling by the ICJ could give countries a degree of "moral authority" to impose sanctions on their own.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Column One: Israel's case

[Arab MKs disrupt Knesset committee hearing by threatening witnesses]

By Caroline Glick [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, January 18, 2004)

. . .

The Palestinian total war against Israel is not simply a local story. The PLO advances its efforts with the full support of the Arab-Israeli leadership, the governments of Arab and Muslim states, most of the EU member states, the UN General Assembly and the bulk of the international human rights community. The point of this international campaign is to criminalize Israel in every possible way. Every action that Israel takes to protect its citizenry from mass murder is condemned. Actions by Israel in the realm of law enforcement raise immediate outcries.

A seemingly insignificant incident this week in the Knesset is indicative of this larger campaign.

On Wednesday Arab MKs Issam Mahoul and Jamal Zahlakha had to be forcibly removed from the Knesset's Interior Affairs Committee when they sought to disrupt its proceedings. Committee chairman MK Yuri Shtern convened the committee to conduct a hearing on the illegal seizure of State and privately owned land by Palestinian criminal gangs in east Jerusalem. The gangs, with close ties to the Palestinian Authority, are the terror of Arab Jerusalemites.

They illegally seize land belonging to absentee Arab owners and to the State, construct multistory apartment buildings and sell the units. On average, between 800 and 900 such buildings are constructed every year. When the owners appear they are harassed and threatened.

And when the government takes action to stop the building or remove the illegal structures, Palestinian activists take to the human-rights circuit and accuse Israel of oppression.

For its part, the P.A. funds the illegal construction with low-interest loans and pays the builders' legal fines and lawyers' fees.

The hearing was only able to take place after Shtern expelled Zahlakha and Mahoul from the meeting because the MKs threatened the officials brought before the committee to provide testimony. They told the officials that they would write letters to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague accusing the officials by name of war crimes.

As an Arab Jerusalemite lamented to me after the meeting, "These MKs are harming the interests of the Arabs in Jerusalem. It is we who suffer from the gangs who terrorize us and steal our land, but they don't care. All they care about is attacking Israel."

Zahlahka and Mahoul's threats came a day after Deputy Knesset Speaker Muhammad Barakei penned a letter on Knesset stationery to the ICJ asking to provide testimony on "Israeli war crimes" in constructing the security fence in Judea and Samaria. The proximate cause of Barakei's effort to undermine the legitimacy of the state's actions is the docket before the ICJ on Israel's construction of the security fence in Judea and Samaria.

. . .

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Swedish FM reconciles with Shalom

[Arab MK Issam Mahoul voices support for Swedish art exhibit which justifies female suicide bomber who detonated herself in Haifa restaurant]

By Tovah Lazaroff

(Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2004) A personal phone call from Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivolds to her Israeli counterpart Wednesday helped ease tensions between the countries, which rose last week over an art installation in Stockholm sympathetic to a suicide bomber who killed 21 Israelis.

The call paved the way for Israel to attend a conference on preventing genocide this coming Monday in Stockholm, even though the related installation remains on display at the Museum of National Antiquities.

Conference organizers welcomed Israel's decision to attend the conference.

"It is very satisfying that they've made the decision, but it is not surprising. It's a big international conference and we expected them to take part," conference spokesman Stig Berglind said.

As a sign of protest, President Moshe Katsav will not attend and diplomat Nimrod Barkan will go instead.

The Foreign Ministry decided to participate in the conference, which it deems important, after Freivolds called, expressing regret for the emotional wounds inflicted by the installation.

The discord began when an outraged Israeli Ambassador Zvi Mazel pulled the plug on three spotlights illuminating the installation, "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," pushing one of them into the rectangular blood-colored pool in which floated a picture of Islamic Jihad suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat, who blew herself up in Haifa's Maxim restaurant last October.

Mazel has since refused to apologize for his actions and Sweden has not apologized for the installation, but both sides have said they regret any hurt feelings. Museum officials rejected calls to remove the exhibit but said they would take down 26 posters with Jaradat's face that were placed in Stockholm subway stations to advertise the exhibition.

The Foreign Ministry said that Wednesday's conversation was very helpful in putting relations back on track.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry said that her country hopes the dispute with Israel is now over. She said that Freivolds told Shalom that Sweden strongly condemns suicide bombings and has fought hard against terror. She said that Sweden welcomes Israel's decision to participate in the conference.

Shalom told Freivolds how hurt Israelis were by the installation, which compared Jaradat to Snow White.

In a speech to seminary students in Ofra on Tuesday, Shalom spoke in support of Mazel, calling his actions, "a cry of the Jewish world to the world at large that these things can no longer be tolerated... I think it [Mazel's actions] were a real cry from the depths of the heart. There is a limit to what a person can stand, when you see a pool filled with blood and the picture of the murderer as snow white, who is pure."

Shalom said that even diplomats can lose their cool.

Still, he added, "We are working so that our relations with Sweden will be good."

Hadash MK Issam Mahoul said he was "ashamed" of Zvi Mazel's behavior. He termed the exhibit "artistic" and Mazel's damaging it as "uncultured and fascist." Mahoul, who was speaking to the Knesset, said that instead of coming out against the "sea of blood spilled by Sharon's government" Israel is attacking its "expression in art."

Minister-without-Portfolio Gideon Ezra responded to Mahoul's speech by saying it is "appalling" to all citizens.

Mahoul also accused the Israeli government of "politicizing" culture, pointing to Education Minister Limor Livnat's proposal to withhold the Wolf Prize from pianist Daniel Barenboim for having led the Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra in a performance of Wagner as an encore at the 2001 Israel Festival. "What will be next – book burning?" he said.

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni said Mazel had not done what he had, it would have been "uncivilized."

Nina Gilbert and the Associated Press contributed to this report

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: No freedom, including the freedom of artistic expression, is absolute. Artistic expression may be curtailed when, inter alia, it aids a present Evil or when it glorifies or obscures a past Evil. It is interesting that MK Mahoul mentions the Barenboim-Wagner imbroglio. When, in 2001, Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim performed German composer Richard Wagner's music in Israel he did so in violation of his sacred agreement with the Israeli government which continues to be sensitive to the traumatic experiences of Israel's elderly community of Holocaust survivors. Wagner, although one of the leading composers of the 19th Century, was also one of the most prominent Jew-haters of that Century. Wagner publicly advocated for the mass extermination of the Jewish people; and his Antisemitic writings and speeches constituted one of the major philosophical underpinnings of Nazism and the resultant Holocaust. For many Jews, playing a composition by Wagner is equivalent to playing one by Hitler himself. MK Mahoul now appears to believe that the value of uninhibited artistic expression trumps all else, including the sensitivities of Holocaust survivors and terrorism victims. Yet Malhoul is a transparent hypocrite, only defending "Snow White and the Madness of Truth" because that particular art exhibit conforms to his underlying support of the terror campaign being waged against Israel by his fellow Arabs. For, it must be remembered that when, in 1997, Israel's Tatiana Suskind drew a picture depicting Mohammed, as a pig, writing the Koran, riots erupted in Muslim communities all over the world. At that time, all of the enraged Arab MKs supported, not only the worldwide mayhem, but also Suskind's subsequent arrest and imprisonment by Israel, as a justified response to Suskind's uninhibited artistic expression.]


Plan may put Israeli Arabs under PA

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi denounces Israel's plan to constrict its own sovereignty so that certain "Israeli" Arab towns may become "Palestinian" Arab towns]

By Tovah Lazaroff

(Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2004) To ensure a two-state solution demographically, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is considering redrawing the border, swapping territory and populations, by placing some Israeli Arab communities within the Palestinian Authority in exchange for keeping some Jewish settlements [located inside Judea and Samaria] within Israel, according to a senior official.

The loosely drawn plan is not part of the unilateral steps now under consideration by Sharon and does not involve physically moving populations, but rather redrawing the map.

It would take place in the final phase of a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, according to the official.

Any steps in this direction would be taken in agreement with the PA and the Israeli Arab communities in question, the source said.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said he opposes the idea. "We are talking about a dangerous, anti-democratic suggestion, which will bring about a schism between the state and its Arab citizens," he said.

He said residents of Arab towns "are not pawns that Sharon can play with."

Among the areas under consideration is the Triangle, which includes Umm el-Fahm, a city of 30,000, which is the power base of the radical arm of the Islamic Movement [of Israel].

It could be given to the PA in exchange for some territories [in Judea and Samaria], the source said.

Ideas of this nature have been talked about for the last decade, but there is no formal plan with concrete details, said the source. It is all speculative at this point.

Sharon spoke about it to a reporter this week only in context of what a final peace agreement with the Palestinians would look like.

"I asked that it be examined legally. It is a complicated problem. I don't have an answer on the matter yet, but I am certainly checking it," Sharon said, according to Ma'ariv.

The border could be redrawn to help ensure a Jewish democratic state by placing some Israeli Arab communities within the PA.

It is a humane solution, the source said; a transfer of borders, not population. No one would have to move. Israeli Arabs who would be impacted by the plan can keep their land and property, but live under PA rule, the source said.

"It's an effort, through consensus, to balance demography," he said. "We are checking the possibility and the feasibility of this plan. "There are advantages to both sides, he added.

However, the idea threatened to arouse the deepest fears of the Arab minority and drew immediate criticism from its leaders.

Some 16 percent of the country's 6.6 million citizens are Arabs. Relations with the Jewish majority, however, are often tense. Israeli Arabs have higher unemployment rates and lower incomes than Jews, and complain of frequent discrimination.

Demographer Sergio Della Pergola, wrote in Ma'ariv that such a reconfiguration is necessary to maintain the Jewish majority at a workable 80 percent.

AP contributed to this report.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: In a feat of surrealism, MK Tibi vehemently protests against any Israeli plan to withdraw from certain parts of "Occupied Palestine" which were incorporated into the State of Israel as a result of the latter's 1948 War of Independence. Not only MK Tibi but the other Arab MKs as well as the leadership of the Islamic Movement of Israel also demand that Israel retain sovereignty over "Israeli" Arab towns such as Umm el-Fahm. This seems incomprehensible given the fact that Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement reject the very existence of a sovereign Israel and should, consequently, view such a partial removal of the "Occupation" as a great Arab victory. What is the explanation for such seeming cognitive dissonance? For decades the Arabs have been prosecuting a multi-pronged war against the continued existence of a Jewish State in the biblical Land of Israel. One prong of the war is actively belligerent, and it consists of continuous military and/or terrorist operations against Israel. Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement of Israel support this prong of war by, inter alia, publicly demonizing Israel and publicly lauding the latter's Arab antagonists. Another prong of the war is passively belligerent, and it consists of expanding the Arab share of Israel's population, including its voting power. Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement of Israel support this prong of war by, inter alia, promoting a high "Israeli" Arab birthrate and supporting immigration policies which have permitted over 100,000 Arabs to move to, and become voting citizens of, Israel. That is precisely why Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement of Israel can simultaneously reject the existence of a sovereign Israel and yet demand that the State which they do not recognize nonetheless retain sovereignty over "Israeli" Arab towns. Consequently, Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement of Israel view such a prospective reduction in Israel's Arab population (to be effected by transferring sovereignty over "Israeli" Arab towns from Israel to the Palestinian Authority) as a defeat in the passively belligerent prong of the Arab war against Israel.]





The limits of tolerance

[Two senior members of Arab MK Azmi Bishara's Balad Party are indicted for attempting to establish a suicide bomber cell in Israel]

(Jerusalem Post, February 9, 2004) The indictment of two senior Balad Party activists for seeking to establish a terrorist cell in Israel calls for Knesset action. We have been among those who have leaned toward allowing the wisdom of the voters to set the limits of participation in the political system.

This case shows, however, that the normal political checks and balances are insufficient. According to the charges, Gassan and Sirhan Atmala, Israeli Arab brothers living in Nazareth, received training, funding, and direction from Hizbullah with the aim of carrying out suicide bombings in Israel.

Gassan Atmala allegedly sent his brother to meet with Hizbullah in Turkey, and then for training in Lebanon.

Gassan Atmala was a member of the Balad Party's central committee, despite having been detained three times for security-related offenses. Sirhan was also a Balad activist.

Balad Party chief MK Azmi Bishara responded to the charges: "This is the first time in the history of Balad that an indictment was filed against one of its members. Even if it turns out that the charges are true, it is an individual act that does not reflect upon the Movement."

Well, not exactly. Bishara himself is under indictment for publicly expressing support for Hizbullah in speeches made in Syria, at a memorial for the late Syrian president Hafez Assad in June 2001, and at a rally in Umm el-Fahm [the largest Arab-populated town in pre-1967 Israel and the seat of Israel's Islamic Movement] the previous year.

Bishara has claimed in his own defense that, "We never called for violence, but we have political positions that are part of our political stance."

It is not possible to credibly argue, however, that support for terrorist organizations can be separated from support for terrorism and violence itself. And now we see what the consequences and implications of such "political" stances are: attempts to create a new terrorist organization.

How must Israel protect itself against a political party that not only supports a terrorist organization, but is allegedly incubating terrorists within its own ranks?

Our security services can be expected to root out such activities using the criminal investigatory tools at their disposal, and there are certainly sufficient legal tools to prosecute crimes involving violence and terrorism.

But criminal tools are not enough when it comes to organizations that help create a climate of association with, rather than rejection of, Israel's most violent enemies.

At the same time, our political system has patiently waited for the Israeli Arab electorate to punish radicalism in its midst, but politicians such as Bishara, Muhammad Barakei, and Ahmed Tibi seem to compete with each other over how closely they can identify with Israel's enemies without explicitly endorsing terrorism itself.

From a democratic perspective, there is no doubt that relying upon the usual political and legal constraints to protect against such radicalization is preferable.

But just as we have laws against incitement, and have even banned a Jewish party (Kach, the followers of Meir Kahane) for advocating racism, there must be limits to the arena of legitimate political activity.

It may well be that, before the next elections, the courts will decide that one or more Arab parties may not compete because they have crossed the recently tightened legal criteria for all political parties. The new law does prohibit support for terrorist groups. And it does not make sense to ban a party because of the actions of some of its members -- unless that party maintains people it claims to disassociate itself from in its ranks, or fails to condemn illegal activities.

Given Balad's record of flirting with Hizbullah, it is not enough that Bishara continue with his "a few bad apples" defense. What we fail to hear from Balad and other Arab parties is a rejection of terrorism under any circumstances. As the Palestinian offensive became more vicious and deadly over the past three years, the Arab parties have, if anything, increased their identification with the Palestinian cause.

Parties such as Balad have increasingly dropped any modicum of loyalty they had as representatives of Israeli citizens, and openly reject the concept of a Jewish State. That such a stance harms their ability to advance the cause of their own electorate within Israeli society goes without saying. But the politics of Israeli Arab irredentism has gone beyond being detrimental to its own community to endanger Israeli society as a whole.

Democracy is not a suicide pact; tolerance must have its limits.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Protests to overshadow legal show at The Hague

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi will join the Palestinian Authority at The Hague, Netherlands in demonstrating against Israel's "Apartheid Wall"]

By Tovah Lazaroff

(February 20, 2004) Demonstrations by thousands of Israelis and Palestinians outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague are likely to drown out the actual legal proceedings about the security fence, which begins Monday.

Those who questioned the legality of the hearing and will absent themselves from the court room believe that when it comes to the battle for public opinion, this is a moment that cannot be ignored.

To that end, Israel is boycotting the internal legal proceedings, which will be broadcast live on the Court's Web site, but it is sending a media team to play to the cameras on the street.

The US and Europe also absented themselves from the proceedings, but a number of congressmen, including Reps. Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), will be outside the Hague as well. B'nai B'rith International president Joel S. Kaplan said, "As we went to Durban to witness the orgy of anti-Semitism disguised as a conference against racism, so, too, we will stand as representatives of the world Jewish community to bear witness to this cynical attempt to strip the Jewish people of their right to self-defense and self-determination."

Israelis, their supporters, and Jews from around the world hope to highlight on the street that the issue here is terrorism, not the fence. Victims of terrorism are planning to attend. Zaka (Disaster Victims Identification) is sending the shell of the bombed out No. 19 bus in which 11 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem last month.

Representing the 927 victims of Palestinian terrorism, 927 students will march through the streets of The Hague carrying placards with pictures of the dead and their names. The rally, organized by the Jewish Agency, will end with a silent vigil in front of the court.

The Christians for Israel organization, which helped bring the No. 19 bus to The Hague, will also hold a silent march in front of the court on Monday with portraits of the 927 victims.

Countering them are Palestinians affected by the fence, who claim that its construction has created a slew of human rights abuses. Backing up their claim is the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, which have both announced that the fence violates international law and contributes to grave human rights violations.

Under the slogan "Build bridges of understanding, not walls of separation," the pro-Palestinian "People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy," is also sending a delegation in opposition to the fence and in support of the hearing.

The Palestinian Authority is also sending a press team. Among those supporting the Palestinian cause on the street will be the Hadash Party.

"The wall is one of the most brutal and prominent obstacles toward the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel," said Hadash MK Ahmed Tibi, who decided on Wednesday to go to The Hague. "We, as members of the Knesset, will be there in order to say that we are against this apartheid-created reality. We will say in The Hague the same position that we say from the podium of the Knesset."

Tibi said it is "nonsense" to say that Israeli opposition politicians do not have the right to oppose governmental policy abroad.

"The Israeli-Palestinian crisis is an international dispute," he said. "We are in the opposition. It is our duty to be pioneers and even get criticized for it.

"It's an act of political conscience. We don't want anyone to say that after two or five years that we weren't there and we didn't shout." Tibi said the fence is against the best interests of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. "It is creating the reality of apartheid and escalating the confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians in violation of international law," he said.

Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim (Likud) suggested that while the Hadash faction is in The Hague, it should visit the charred remains of bus No. 19.

The International Court of Justice is holding a three-day hearing on the fence at the request of the United Nation General Assembly, which asked that it render an advisory opinion on the legality of constructing a fence in occupied territories. Fourteen governments and two organizations are to testify. Most of the legal testimonies will be against the fence.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Firstly, Israel's security fence is not being constructed on "Palestinian" land, but rather on land that the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine of 1922 set aside for the Jewish people. The fact that Transjordan illegally seized this area during the 1948 pan-Arab war of annihilation against the nascent State of Israel, the fact that the successor state of Jordan illegally occupied this area until 1967, and the fact that most of this area's inhabitants are presently Arabs are legally irrelevant to the continuing national ownership of this area by the Jewish people. Secondly, "Apartheid" was South Africa's official system of creating and maintaining segregation between Caucasians, Blacks, Indians and mixed-race race persons in that country during its bygone era of Caucasian minority rule. Since Israel's chain-link security fence -- only a small portion of which constitutes a solid wall -- will leave millions of Arabs and Jews on both sides thereof, the fence will not create even a semblance of Apartheid between the two peoples. Yet, “Palestinian” Arabs are, in fact, subjected to the restrictions of Apartheid in Arab countries such as Syria and Lebanon, where they are restricted to Apartheid towns (labeled “refugee camps” by the international media) for purposes of residence, education and work. Of course, Israel's Arab MKs know all of this. Ironically, by elsewhere demanding that Judea, Samaria, the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Gaza be made Judenrein (cleansed of Jews), these Arab MKs hypocritically promote a policy that is even more extreme than Apartheid -- namely, Ethnic Cleansing. Clearly, the ubiquitous usage by MK Tibi and other Arab MKs of the term "Apartheid" with respect to Israel's security fence is meant to divert international attention away from the reason why the fence is being built (namely, to impede Arab suicide bombers from reaching the major Jewish population centers situated within pre-1967 Israel) and towards the traditional Arab view of Israel (namely, that, like the former Caucasian-controlled South Africa, the present Jewish-controlled Israel has no right to exist).]


Egyptians condemn terrorist attack

[Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh lament the adverse political effect and unfortunate timing of the suicide bombing of a Jerusalem bus filled with people]

By Gil Hoffman

(Jerusalem Post, February 23, 2004) Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's adviser, Osama El-Baz condemned the terrorist attack [of February 22, 2004] in meetings in Cairo on Sunday with Labor MK Matan Vilna'i.

The Egyptians said that such attacks "put spokes in the wheels of advancing the peace process." Vilna'i called upon the Egyptians to become more involved in solving the Middle East conflict.

Hadash MKs Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh, who are in The Hague to protest against the security fence, criticized the terrorist for hurting the Palestinian cause.

"The Palestinian who carried out the attack in Jerusalem gave a gift to the opponents of the Palestinian people," Tibi said. "This horrendous attack causes great harm to our efforts to explain the wrong done by the fence."

Barakeh said the attack is a crime and its timing is "even more of a crime."

MKs Eli Yishai (Shas) and Shaul Yahalom (National Religious Party) called upon Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to abandon his unilateral disengagement plan.

Deputy Education Minister Zvi Hendel called upon the government to expel the heads of the Palestinian Authority to Tunis and begin a large-scale operation to destroy the PA's terrorist infrastructure.

"Rather than reward terror by expelling Jews from the Gaza Strip, the Prime Minister should instruct the IDF to eliminate terror," said Hendel, who lives in the Gaza Strip. "It is sad that instead of doing that, Sharon is insisting on a step that would bring more suffering to thousands of additional families who will be hurt in future attacks."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: These two Arab MKs are at The Hague to publicly support the proceedings of the United Nations' International Court of Justice, which has been charged by the U.N. General Assembly, via the vote of its automatic anti-Israel majority, with opining as to the legality of Israel's security fence under international law. The Court's hearing on this matter commenced on February 23, 2004. The Arab MKs' moral argument against the security fence has been predicated upon the collective hardship which the fence has inflicted upon the "Palestinian" people. Yet, this latest suicide bombing, which was perpetrated by a "Palestinian" terrorist affiliated with P.A. Chairman Yasser Arafat's own Fatah terror group on the day before the judicial hearing commenced, has served, once again, to reiterate Israel's moral counter-argument, namely, that the fence is a necessary security measure which has been forced upon the Jewish State by the "Palestinian" people. It is both reprehensible and noteworthy that these Arab Members of Knesset do not declare that it is against the tenets of Islam or against universal principles of human decency to murder Jewish innocents, many of whom were teenagers on their way to school. Instead, they loudly declare that the terror attack represents "a gift" to Israel -- a blood libel which implies that Israel willingly benefits from the murder of its own citizens. And they loudly complain that the latest suicide bombing will blunt the effectiveness of their posturing against the security fence, and that, consequently, the timing of the atrocity (which they do not really believe is an atrocity) is itself an atrocity -- and not a minor atrocity, but rather a great atrocity which eclipses the enormity of the suicide bombing itself. The substance of Egypt's condemnation is essentially the same as that of Israel's Arab MKs; Egypt's phrasing thereof is merely more diplomatic. Note that Egypt laments only the suicide bombing's damage to the non-existent "peace process"; predictably, it has uttered not a word lamenting the murder of Jews.]


Deputy Minister questions Palestinian 'genetic defect'

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa calls upon the Deputy Minister to resign]

By Arieh O'Sullivan

(Jerusalem Post, February 25, 2004) Could Palestinian terror be the result of a genetic defect among them, Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim wanted to know Tuesday.

Speaking at the memorial for the 26th anniversary of the coastal road terror attack, Boim pondered the recent wave of Arab terror.

"What is it with Islam in general and the Palestinians in particular? Is it some sort of cultural deficiency? Is it a genetic defect? There is something incomprehensible in their continuing murderous behavior," Boim said in remarks broadcast by Army radio.

Boim's spokeswoman Ronit Schwartz said the comments were merely rhetorical questions and taken out of context.

"Deputy Minister Boim was referring to the incomprehensible phenomena of world, regional and local terror being directed by Islamic extremists," Schwartz said in a statement.

"He raised a number of rhetorical questions as explanations, but had no intention of answering them or determining facts," Boim's spokeswoman said.

The ceremony held in Herzliya marked the 1978 hijacking of an Israeli bus by Fatah terrorists from Lebanon. Thirty-two Israelis were killed in a botched rescue attempt, which sparked Israel's mini-invasion into southern Lebanon up to the Litani River.

Boim's remarks sparked a plethora of reaction by Israeli lawmakers. Most striking was Likud MK Yehiel Hazan who did attempt to answer Boim's "rhetorical question."

"This is something in their blood. It is genetic. I never conducted any research on this but there is no other explanation. You can't trust an Arab even after 40 years in the grave," Hazan told reporters in the Knesset.

Bedouin MK Taleb a-Sanaa of the United Arab List called for Boim's resignation.

[Note: MK a-Sanaa, who has publicly praised Arab terror attacks against Jews (-- see, for example, the October 30, 2000 and August 7, 2001 items in this Compendium --), is hardly in a position to criticize Jewish mistrust of, and even hatred against, Arabs.]

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Thousands protest in Nazareth

[Virtually all Arab MKs publicly mourn the death of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin]

By David Rudge [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, March 24, 2004) Some 3,000 demonstrators in [the Israeli Arab city of] Nazareth on Tuesday marched to protest against the government's policies toward Palestinians, holding aloft an empty wheelchair and coffin to symbolize the crippled Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed in an IAF strike in the Gaza Strip the day before.

The demonstrators carried pictures of Yassin and an array of flags: Palestinian flags, the green flags of the Islamic Movement, the red flags of the Israeli [predominantly Arab] political party the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash), and black flags of mourning.

The protest march along the city's main street culminated a day of national mourning that was declared by the monitoring committee of the Israeli Arab leadership [which includes Arab MKs] in response to the assassination of Yassin.

Outstanding among the demonstrators were members of the Islamic Movement, whose green flags, the same color as those of Hamas, were very much in evidence.

Channel 1 reported that some masked protesters chanted slogans in Arabic calling for revenge for Yassin's killing, although they were apparently quickly silenced by organizers who kept a tight hold on the demonstration.

Virtually all of the Arab Knesset members took part in the demonstration, which was well organized and passed without any violent disruptions. Police were on standby in case of serious disturbances, but kept a low profile.

. . .

[Note: If anything reveals the true loyalties of the Arab Members of Knesset and of the constituencies which habitually elect them to office, it is their open, unabashed and genuine grief at the elimination of Ahmed Yassin, a vile creature who had dedicated his life to the destruction of Israel and to the annihilation of its Jewish populace.]





Cheering the enemy

[The Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership, the membership of which includes Israel's Arab MKs, sponsors pro-Hamas rally in Israel]

(Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2004) On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus, where he was accosted by Arab students who demonstrated vehemently against the killing of Hamas chief Ahmed Yassin, shouting "We're all Ahmed Yassins."

They also called out: "With blood and fire we shall redeem you, oh shaheed [martyr]," and "Yassin -- we follow your footsteps."

In a mass protest in [the “Israeli” Arab city of] Nazareth that day, participants also resorted to the "We're all Ahmed Yassins" chant, along with "There are a million Yassins." Loudspeakers blared a stirring Gaza hit song extolling Yassin as "the light of the sun" and "tomorrow's man." The scene in Nazareth's streets was difficult to distinguish from the streets of Gaza.

Nevertheless, the head of the Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership, Shawki Hatib, maintained that the demonstration wasn't called to mourn the arch-terrorist, but "to protest against the targeted killing" of one.

It takes a fair amount of self-deception to regard demonstrations featuring pro-Yassin slogans and awash with Hamas flags as walking the fine line that Hatib described. We feel that the worst we can do is sweep animosity under the rug or downplay the menacing chants and undisguised abuse hurled in Israel's collective face.

These demonstrations did not stop at protesting against an Israeli action -- they celebrated a mass murderer of fellow Israeli citizens, including, of course, many Arabs.

Hatib and other speakers delivered inflammatory orations in which they lashed out at the IDF, its commanders, the government, and most of all Sharon. He was branded a fascist, racist, murderer, and child-killer. Hatib blamed him directly for "every drop of blood spilled in this region" -- not Yassin.

Moreover, such emotional sendoffs cannot be recalled for any of the 1,000 Israeli victims of the Palestinian Authority's intifada in the past 42 months. These included many elderly people and babies in their strollers. The pictures of none of these innocent victims were never borne aloft in Arab demonstrations. No one ever remembered the wheelchairs or prams of Yassin's numerous victims. The demonstrators evinced unreserved empathy for terrorists and zero empathy for their victims.

This is crossing far beyond any redlines that even the most vibrant but non-suicidal democracy can countenance. Vociferously siding with those who would destroy Israel, while castigating Israel's self-defense, isn't something Israel should tolerate in the name of civil liberties.

If a line isn't drawn, these manifestations will only become worse. It would serve the interest of Israel's Arab citizens to realize that disloyalty will backfire. For years they've been claiming that their sole objective is to secure equality.

But by associating themselves with the state's enemies, they will inevitably generate even greater estrangement between themselves and mainstream Israelis than already exists, especially since the bloody riots of October 2000. If they crave ostracism, they can achieve it, but it'll be their own doing.

Increasingly, however, the inescapable impression is that none of the unrest is about standards of living. Israeli Arabs have it better than their brethren in any of the Arab states and that in itself is a point to ponder.

By following disastrous leaders and role models like Yassin, they can only trigger regression and backwardness.

It won't do to portray such flagrant displays of hostility to the State as stemming from economic need. Pouring funds into the Arab sector, as [former Prime Minister] Ehud Barak sought to do, may be warranted, but could be perceived as appeasement absent a marked reversal of the trend toward radicalization.

The time has come for courageous Israeli politicians to tell it like it is and say openly that the problem isn't deprivation, but the "Palestinization" of Israeli Arabs. It would be grossly unfair to them not to emphasize the limitations of what Israel can put up with.

Nationalistic and religious extremism along with insidious anti-Israelism won't yield integration and acceptance. Any society cannot but treat those who applaud its would-be destroyers with suspicion and distrust. This has to be stated loudly and boldly. Failure to underscore the bounds of Israeli tolerance would be remiss and harmful both to Jews and Arabs.

For the sake of all communities, it must be stressed that even in a free land not everything goes.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Arab MK] Tibi calls on PA [Palestinian Authority] to consider declaring independent state

Says US endorsement of disengagement plan changes rules of the game. Arafat: "No one has right to hand over our land and dismiss our rights".

By: Arik Bender

(Maariv, April 17, 2004) MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta’al) is calling on Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to consider declaring an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borderline.

During a meeting with Danish parliament members in Copenhagen, Tibi said that after President Bush’s endorsement of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan [which will entail forcibly removing from the Gaza Strip its 7,500 Jewish residents and destroying 4 Jewish villages in northern Samaria], "The Palestinians should seriously consider a unilateral declaration since the new views expressed by the US administration change the rules of the political game". According to Tibi, the new rules call for such a declaration that would create a new political reality in accordance with the UN resolutions in the matter.

On Thursday, Tibi termed the Bush statement [which, as a quid quo pro for Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan, opined that Arabs claiming refugee status should be repatriated to a Palestinian state rather than be allowed to inundate Israel, and acknowledged that, as part of any final peace agreement, the large Jewish population centers in Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, constituting some 400,000 people, will probably be annexed to Israel rather than be ethnically cleansed] as a "fatal blow to peace efforts and slap in the face to the Arab world", adding, "This is the first time the Americans officially approve settlements and the taking over of land by means of force".

Meanwhile, PA Chairman Arafat also attacked the Bush declaration regarding the keeping of some of the territories by Israel and the US ruling out of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to Israel. "No one in the world has a right to hand over our land and dismiss our rights", Arafat told 1500 supporters in Ramallah. "Our people and our leaders are the only ones that have the legitimacy to speak on behalf of our nation", he added.

[Note: Although such public antics by Arab MKs are, by now, so routine that they elicit hardly any Outrage from Israel's Jewish populace, it is nonetheless imperative to repeat the Obvious, namely, that when an elected member of Israel's parliament gives counsel, publicly or otherwise, to an entity which is at war with the State, he commits treason; and he ought to suffer the appropriate punishment therefor.]


[Arab MK] Tibi: Kahanists control Likud

By Staff

(Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2004) The Likud referendum result [which overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to expel the entire Jewish population of Gaza and to destroy 4 Jewish villages in northern Samaria] "is a black day for everyone that wants to think daring thoughts, whose aim is to end the Occupation," Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said in the Knesset Monday.

Tibi and the Meretz party brought a no-confidence motion against the government.

Blaming the defeat of the unilateral disengagement plan, which he opposed, on the right wing in the Likud, Tibi said, "The Likud controls the country, and Kahanists control the Likud."

"Everybody crumbled and bent in the face of the Kahanists in the Likud, in the face of [Moshe] Feiglin [leader of the Jewish Leadership faction of the Likud party]. Nobody dared to stand up to Feiglin. Likud Ministers did not dare stand up to Feiglin. Sharon assassinated Rantisi and threatened Arafat in order to promote his disengagement plan, but he would not dare stand up to Feiglin. The Likud has been taken over by the extreme right wing," Tibi said.

Ahmed Tibi did not mention the murder Sunday of the family murdered in the Gaza Strip, Minister-Without-Portfolio Gideon Ezra (Likud) said in response to the Arab MK's speech. [On the day of the referendum, Tali Hatuel, a Jewish woman in her eighth month of pregnancy, and her four young daughters -- aged two (Meirav), six (Roni), eight (Hadar) and ten (Hila) years old -- were slaughtered, at point-blank range, by Gazan Arabs.]

"Tibi has forgotten that he is no longer in a session of the Arab League," Ezra said.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: MK Tibi, in lockstep with other Arab MKs, the Palestinian Authority and the larger Arab world, publicly opposed Sharon's disengagement plan. Yet, employing a huge dose of hypocrisy, MK Tibi now criticizes the "extreme right wing" of the Likud for the plan's defeat. Instead, shouldn't MK Tibi be thanking Moshe Feiglin and his minions for helping to defeat a plan which Tibi and the entire Arab world so vehemently opposed?]


Knesset reacts to Rafah incident

[Arab MK Taleb Sanaa accuses the IDF of being a Nazi army which is perpetrating a new holocaust; Arab MK Ahmed Tibi accuses IDF officials of being murderers who should be tried for war crimes; and MK Mohammed Barakei accuses the IDF of committing a massacre]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2004) News of the killing of more than 20 Palestinians by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] in a missile hit on a group of protesters touched off an unusually fierce political clash in the Knesset between the Left and the Right.

Criticism against the government from MKs from the Arab, Labor and Meretz parties infuriated MKs on the Right, who accused them of being collaborators with Palestinian terror groups.

United Arab List MK Taleb Sanaa said "it has been proven that you don't have to be a German to be a Nazi." This is a "new holocaust," he said from the Knesset podium during a presheduled debate on the recent violence in Gaza.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said the IDF officials who approved the operation were "murderers" who should be tried in an international war crimes tribunal. Likud MKs told him to "cool it," but he continued his angry speech from the Knesset podium, adding that he cannot "calm down" when children are being killed. Tibi, who is a doctor, nearly lost his voice during the speech, and then went to the Knesset doctor to be examined.

MK Mohammed Barakei (Hadash) said a "massacre" had been committed.

Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On called on soldiers to disobey orders to fire at unarmed demonstrators, calling such directives "illegal." MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz) said the IDF is losing its deterrence because of its failure to discriminate between demonstrators and terrorists. Israel is losing its legitimacy, he added.

MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said it was a "war crime" for the Palestinian to send civilians into areas where clashes are going on.

MK Zvi Hendel (National Union) said the Left's criticism was brazen, adding that the armed "murderers" surround themselves with children as "an insurance policy" while threatening the IDF. "We cannot allow a repeat of cannibals showing pictures of our soldiers' body parts," he said.

MK Roni Bar-On (Likud) said those who were criticizing the IDF were "after the blood of the soldiers." He didn't hear such criticism of the Palestinians over the brutal murder of the Hatuel family [namely, Tali Hatuel, a Jewish woman in her eighth month of pregnancy, and her four young daughters -- aged two to eleven years old -- who were slaughtered, at point-blank range, by Gazan Arabs], killed on the Kissufim road.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said to the Arabs MKs that they are "helping in the propaganda effort of the terror organizations." Eldad said the Left is also taking part in the "public lynching" on the IDF before the matter has been investigated.

Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz said the hit was "tragic and unnecessary," and must be investigated outside of the IDF.

Shinui MK Reshef Cheyne said it is already clear that the Rafah operation has been a public opinion "fiasco," and therefore the damage it has caused will probably outweigh its utility.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: This (as well as the next) article was published before the IDF had completed its own investigation of the incident in Rafah, an Arab-populated town sitting astride the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Israel controls a small patrol road between Gazan Rafah and Egyptian Rafah known as the Philadelphi Route in order to prevent the entry of weapons, ammunition, rockets, explosives and terrorists into Gaza from Egypt. On a continuous basis, the terror groups operating in Rafah, such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, dig deep tunnels under the Philadelphi Route which are successfully used to smuggle such contraband and which thereby endanger, not only the Jewish communities of Gaza, but also nearby Jewish communities located within Israel's 1949 armistice demarcation lines, such as Sderot and Nahal Oz (and even further distant cities such as Ashkelon and Ashdod). Since Egypt refuses to destroy the tunnel entrances which are located in, or to arrest the terrorists which operate from, its territory, the IDF is forced to periodically enter Gazan Rafah in order to destroy the tunnels, confiscate the contraband, and capture (or kill) terrorists. During the latest IDF incursion, a mob of more than 2,000 Arabs began to march toward the combat zone. Children were placed at the front of the mob and gunmen were interspersed throughout. An IDF tank fired a tank shell at a nearby empty building to deter the mob from entering the combat zone. However, the shell passed through the building and exploded among the crowd. Eight -- not 23 -- Arabs were killed; and 5 of them were armed! Firstly, the approaching force of some 2,000 hostile Arabs -- even if wholly unarmed -- posed an immediate threat of harm to the much smaller IDF contingent which justified the use of deadly counterforce. Secondly, permitting children to participate in such a hostile mob yet again demonstrates the rank disregard which "Palestinian" Arabs exhibit for their children's safety. Thirdly, the IDF meant only to warn the mob -- not to attack it; for, had the IDF actually meant to attack the mob, there would have been, not 8, but, at least, hundreds of Arabs killed. Fourthly, it is pointed out that, even if 23 "Palestinian" Arabs had been killed in Rafah, "Israeli" Arab MKs routinely refuse to condemn similar (or greater) death tolls inflicted by "Palestinian" Arab terror groups upon Israelis, let alone equate such terror groups (and the Palestinian Authority which supports and directs them) with Nazi Germany. Finally, by equating Israel with Nazi Germany, and by equating IDF anti-terror operations with a new holocaust, "Israeli" Arab MKs are implicitly arguing that the destruction of Israel -- home to 40% of the World's Jews -- is a moral necessity. This is worse than treason -- it is incitement to genocide!]


Israeli Arabs protest 'Palestinian Holocaust'

[Arab MKs, acting through the Supreme Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership as well as through the Balad and Hadash political parties, incite "Israeli" Arab communities to equate the State of Israel with Nazi Germany]

By David Rudge

(Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2004) Thousands of Israeli Arabs and Jewish peace activists are expected to take part in protest actions over the weekend against what the leadership of the Arab community has described as the "Palestinian Holocaust."

Some local demonstrations, involving hundreds of participants, have already been staged in Acre, Haifa and Tamra in Galilee, and several more are planned over the next few days.

This follows a call by the Supreme Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership for Arab political parties and movements, as well as Jewish peace organizations to organize a series of protests.

The call was made in the form of a statement issued after the accidental tank shelling of a protest march in Rafah in which eight Palestinians, mostly children and women, were killed and dozens were wounded.

The monitoring committee described the incident as a massacre and accused Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

"We denounce these war crimes and state terrorism against the Palestinian people in general and in Rafah in particular," monitoring committee spokesman Abed Inbitawi told The Jerusalem Post. "These deeds -- the killings and injuries and destruction of homes and infrastructure -- constitute the Palestinian holocaust, a genocide. We view the events in Rafah as a continuation of 'Al-Nakba' ['The Catastrophe', being the Arab-language expression for the creation of the State of Israel] since 1948," he said.

"We call on the United Nations and international organizations to break out of their cycle of stuttering and act against the policies of the Israeli government, stop this genocide and ensure immediate international protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

A small-scale demonstration by Jewish and Arab peace activists was held in Nazareth on Thursday afternoon, while the "Ta'ayush" Arab-Jewish Partnership intends to stage a protest at the Kissufim crossing at the main entrance to Gush Katif.

More demonstrations are planned in Arrabe, Kafr Kanna and Shfaram in Galilee, as well as in Umm el-Fahm and Taiba in the Triangle over the weekend. Mass protest rallies are being organized by [the Arab political party] Balad in Haifa and by [the mostly Arab political party] Hadash in Nazareth on Saturday evening.

Inbitawi added that the monitoring committee has issued a call for all the protest actions to be made in a dignified and law-abiding manner.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Arab MKs: [convicted murderer] Barghouti is a freedom fighter, not terrorist

[Outraged Arab MKs publicly declare their support for Marwan Barghouti, the founder of Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, which, together with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is responsible for the wave of suicide bombings that have murdered and maimed thousands of Jews to date]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2004) Israeli Arab political leaders reacted with outrage to Marwan Barghouti's conviction on Thursday for five murders of Israelis, saying that Israel is to blame for the violence that has taken place since October 2000 and predicting that Barghouti would eventually be involved in negotiating a peace agreement because he is a "moderate."

Hadash leader MK Mohammed Barakei said that when Barghouti was brought into the courtroom he told him, "It will take less time for you to be released than [Nelson] Mandela. Those who judged you will eventually ask to negotiate with you."

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash -- Arab Movement for Change), who also attended the hearing along with MK Azmi Bishara (Balad), called Barghouti a "freedom-fighter" and a Palestinian leader who cannot be put in jail by another country.

Tibi, who has close ties with the Palestinian Authority, said peace talks should be held with Barghouti himself.

Barakei said Barghouti's release would help restart the peace process, calling him a "key negotiator."

MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List) said that at least half of the members of Knesset have Barghouti's phone number because he kept in touch with them.

According to a-Sanaa, Barghouti is one of the more "pragmatic and moderate" Palestinian leaders. "He deserves an award for his efforts to advance peace in the area," said a-Sanaa, adding that Barghouti is a "supporter of the Oslo accords."

He characterized Barghouti as a "victim" of an extreme-right wing government that "does not want peace."

The Arab MKs all said Israel had no right to put Barghouti on trial, saying that Israel should be on trial itself for occupying Palestinian territories.

Tibi said the trial was "not legitimate", and a crime that should be tried is Israel's attack on demonstrators at Rafah this week

Barakei also rejected the trial itself. "Peoples who are in a conflict don't put each other on trial," he said.

A-Sanaa said Barghouti was put on "political trial," but he had a right to resist the Israeli Occupation. "Even Ehud Barak said that if he were a Palestinian he would have joined an opposition organization; and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the Occupation must be ended," said a-Sanaa.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: Arab MKs are so brazen in their rejection of the legitimacy of the State of Israel that they publicly extol the virtues of a monster who, while directly responsible for the murder of 5 Jews, is indirectly responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands. And what precisely do Arab MKs find so praiseworthy about this convicted murderer? That should be obvious. For, it is only the monster's proven ability to murder and maim Jews that has made him an authentic leader among Arab MKs and their "Israeli" Arab constituents.]


Civilian flight paths changed due to terrorist threats

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi condemns Israel for rerouting civilian flight paths away from "Israeli" Arab town]

By Arieh O'Sullivan and Tal Muscal

(Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2004) A number of civilian flight paths have been changed following recent recommendations by the Air Force based on new terror threats.

Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim informed the Knesset of the change in answer to a discussion on the matter.

"In the framework of a situation assessment dealing with terrorist threats to Israel's air space, the IAF has advised the Ministry of Transportation to restrict and divert flight paths. A number of civilian flight paths have been changed," Boim informed the Knesset.

According to Boim's spokeswoman Ronit Schwartz, the matter was discussed last Wednesday, but only now became public.

Boim's confirmation came in response to a parliamentary query from MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash). Tibi asked Boim whether aircraft have been banned from flying over Umm el-Fahm.

Tibi said he was "shocked" that Boim had confirmed the information. He called the decision "racist," adding that residents of Umm el-Fahm are Israeli citizens who have no army or air force.

He slammed Boim for "stigmatizing" Umm el-Fahm and scaring people from flying over the Arab town in the North. "It is very easy to scare the public that a shoulder-fired or ground-to-ground missile will be fired from the town," Tibi said in the Knesset on Tuesday. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin reprimanded Tibi for revealing classified information, but Tibi responded that he had the approval of Umm el-Fahm to talk about the matter.

Sources familiar with air traffic patterns said that it was common practice to change civilian flight paths in order to avoid routine.

In fact, since the Palestinian wave of terrorism was launched in September 2000, and following the botched al-Qaida-affiliate missile-attack on an Arkia Israeli Airlines jet over Kenya in November 2002, the security establishment has altered landing patterns into Ben-Gurion Airport, as well as overseas. At one point in 2003, the Star of David and El Al insignia were "erased" off the fuselage of an El Al Boeing 777 operating on certain Asian routes considered dangerous.

Nina Gilbert contributed to this report.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: The "Israeli" Arab town of Umm el-Fahm and its environs are the stronghold of the northern branch of Israel's Islamic Movement. Much of its leadership was recently arrested for serving as a financial conduit for the "Palestinian" Arab terrorist group Hamas.]





Israel-Arab verities

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara tells American radio station that "Israel is worse than Apartheid".]

(Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2004) The flip side of the fact that [Israel's Interior Minister] Avraham Poraz has been no stranger to controversy from the day he became interior minister is his intestinal fortitude to tell it like it is.

Poraz did just so Tuesday while visiting Galilean Arab municipalities.

Unlike his predecessors he didn't dispense blandishments. He pulled no punches and told his hosts they'd better get their acts together. In western Galilee alone 10 municipalities and local councils have not bothered to put together even the draft rehabilitation plans, which are prerequisites for a financial bail-out from the central government. These local authorities failed to make even this minimal effort despite the fact that they are not paying their employees' wages, some of them for well over a year. Moneys earmarked for employee savings funds and pensions disappeared elsewhere. Yet these same local councils have no compunction blaming the government for their shortcomings. Against the charged background of the Jewish-Arab conflict, the subtext is that government discrimination is at fault.

We praise Poraz for putting the record straight and for doing so in front of the joint Ba'aneh, Majd el-Kurum and Deir el-Asad council.

"Arab local issues are plainly neglected ... by Arab MKs," Poraz argued, "I hear them sound off endlessly about what happens in Nablus, Jenin and Gaza but not in Nazareth or Ba'aneh." Poraz put his finger on it. Too many Israeli-Arab politicians relish radicalizing their constituents and fanning the flames of discord. Discrimination has hardly been eradicated, but cannot be addressed in the face of mounting identification with the Palestinian Authority's war against Israel.

MK Azmi Bishara is a case in point. He recently announced a hunger strike to protest the security fence. This coincided with an op-ed [opinion article] he contributed to Egypt's [government-controlled newspaper] Al-Ahram in which he portrayed Israel as a racist state bent on oppressing Arabs. "If Israel were to be recognized as a Jewish state, there will be no room within the Green Line [Israel's 1949 armistice demarcation lines] for Arabs, the original indigenous inhabitants of the land.... Those really threatened aren't Jews but Palestinians."

On Monday he told an American radio station that "Israel is worse than Apartheid. There's nothing like it in the World. Some of Israel's crimes are even worse than its massacres ... its aim is to destroy Palestinians ... Israel's a spoiled child, the neighborhood bully."

Israeli-Arab politics seems to operate under the assumption that the more outrageous a politician's incitement, the greater his following. Yet MKs who expediently turn their electorate against the State in fact become obstructionist and contribute to the misery of their own people.

Too many Arab communities have in effect refused to "cooperate" with the State and hence fail to collect local taxes, allow water bills to go unpaid, neglect infrastructure and condone, if not encourage, illegal construction.

Last February Ba'aneh witnessed the largest-ever clashes with police since October 2000. The demolition of illegal structures on public land usurped by locals in 1999 had to be secured by 450 policemen. Three officers suffered broken bones and others were injured by the hail of rocks which greeted them. Yet they were doing Ba'aneh's residents a favor. The site taken over illegally was earmarked as a housing project for no fewer than 40 local families, whose rights the land-grabbers callously violated.

These are truths which Arab politicians prefer not to tell. They likewise fail to disclose what share of the State's allocations Arab local authorities receive. The government testified to the Or Commission that in 2002 the Arab sector, comprising 11.6% of Israel's population, received 25.4% of the Interior Ministry's development budget, 70.7% of the Housing Ministry budget for rehabilitating old neighborhoods, 72% of the budgets for constructing public institutions, 48% of the Infrastructure Ministry's sewerage budget, and 63% of the Education Ministry's classroom construction funds.

This hardly indicates deliberate State antagonism towards Israel's Arabs.

What Poraz in essence rightly sought to impart is that less antagonism towards the State by Arab politicians is what's needed. The more they identify with the State's enemies and practice self-serving obstructionism, the more they deepen and perpetuate their communities' malaise. "I don't expect them to become honorary members of the Zionist Movement," Poraz said, "but they would serve Israeli Arabs' best interests if they devote much more attention to the true problems of those they represent."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: The fact that Israel's Arab-populated towns collectively receive a disproportionately high share of Israel's national budgetary allocations for housing, infrastructure and education disproves the claim, often advanced by the "Israeli" Arab leadership, that the "Israeli" Arab electorate's hostility to the Jewish State is based upon national resource discrimination by Israel's government.]


Arab MK banned from Knesset for 2 days

[Arab MK Mohammed Barakei threatens to assault Jewish MK]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, July 22, 2004) Hadash leader MK Mohammed Barakei was banned from the Knesset plenum and committee meetings for two days by the Knesset Ethics Committee on Wednesday for an incident in which he was accused of "physically threatening" MK Zvi Hendel (National Union).

The punishment was the second handed down against Barakei by the committee in recent months for his behavior in the Knesset plenum.

In the recent incident, he moved toward Hendel and threatened to "shut his mouth" while motioning to take off a shoe to do so.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Tibi blasts Gaza operation

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi accuses Israel's army of perpetuating a "crime against humanity" by invading Arab-populated areas of Gaza]

By Khaled Abu Toameh

(Jerusalem Post, October 4, 2004) MK Ahmed Tibi Sunday condemned the IDF operation in the northern Gaza Strip as a "crime against humanity" and claimed that most of the Palestinians killed in the fighting were civilians.

In an interview with the Gaza-based Doniawatan electronic magazine, Tibi also attacked the Israeli media, claiming they are distorting what is happening in Gaza. "Contrary to what the Israeli government and media are saying, most of those who were killed are civilians," he said.

He called on the Israeli public to watch foreign TV to see the house demolitions.

"Hasn't the time come for the Israeli government and army to reconsider their methods?" he asked. "Isn't it important for the Israeli society to ask itself where this government is leading it?"

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note: In 1994 Israel withdrew from 80% of Gaza upon which resided virtually 100% of the Arab population thereof, thereby transferring most of Gaza and virtually all of its Arabs over to the rule of the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority headed by Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. Both before and after Israel's unilateral withdrawal, attacks were planned and launched from Arab-populated areas of Gaza against Jewish-populated areas of Gaza as well as against pre-1967 Israel (i.e., Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines). All of these attacks relied upon Arab terrorist infiltrations of Jewish communities. Israel's subsequent construction of a fence around the perimeter of Gaza effectively prevented the launching of future infiltration attacks from Gaza. However, since 2001 -- in a successful effort to diminish the protective capacity of the perimeter fence -- the Arabs of Gaza began to manufacture and fire thousands of Kassam rockets into nearby Jewish communities (both inside and outside of Gaza) without -- thank God -- injuring anyone. As a result, the Government of Israel decided -- and proceeded -- to ignore the growing threat of these inaccurate projectiles -- until now. What changed? -- only that several young children have finally been murdered and scores of others wounded by Kassam rockets over the past several months, thereby forcing the Government to put an end to the efficacy of these rocket attacks by reoccupying the Arab-populated areas of northern Gaza with the aim of forcibly creating a buffer zone wider than the rockets' present range. Apparently, MK Tibi does not believe that the firing of rockets into Jewish communities is a crime against humanity. Clearly, he does not think that Israel is entitled to any compliments for its forbearance in acting against the Arab communities which have been firing these rockets during the past 3 years (and, on this one point, I am in full agreement with him). Instead, he feels that it is his duty, as a Member of Israel's Knesset, to publicly give aid and comfort to the Enemy.]


Arafat discussion in Knesset almost ends in blows

[Arab MK Issam Mahoul calls Jewish MK Aryeh Eldad a “Nazi fascist” for expressing satisfaction over Yasser Arafat’s death; Arab MK Ahmed Tibi expresses his sorrow over Arafat’s demise;  and several Arab MKs leave Knesset chamber to protest Jewish MK Nissim Ze’ev’s description of Arafat as a “despicable murderer”]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, November 10, 2004) Two Members of Knesset nearly came to blows Tuesday evening in the Knesset plenum where the question of Yasser Arafat's health was discussed.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said the only good thing he could say about Arafat is that "he is dead."

MK Issam Mahoul (Hadash) responded by saying that Eldad is "suited to deliver a speech in German."

"You are a Nazi fascist," Mahoul said to Eldad.

Eldad stood down from the Knesset podium from which he was delivering his speech and made his way to where Mahoul was sitting.

Mahoul stood up to meet him, and the two came face to face. Only the Knesset Guard managed to keep the two from coing to blows.

The Palestinian Authority has not yet made any requests to Israel for funeral arrangements, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said Monday morning in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He said the IDF has also not identified any preparation by the Palestinians.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said that a "leader can die, but a people will never die." Tibi, whose voice was shocking in sorrow, said the Palestinian people are "going through difficult times."
He said there Israelis who are celebrating, but they should instead allow a people to have time to reflect. Tibi announced that Arafat's death was a "matter of hours" due to a brain hemorrhage.

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin said he would not rejoice at the anticipated death of Arafat, despite that he had caused so many deaths.

Shas MK Nissin Ze'ev said Arafat does not deserve to go to the Garden of Eden as would be promised to him if he dies in Ramadan. He called him a "despicable murderer," from the Knesset podium, prompting several Arab MKs leave in protest. Ze'ev also said he has no right to be buried in Jerusalem, and should be "buried like a mule."

Shinui MK Hemi Doron said Arafat is a "terror symbol," who should not be buried anywhere in the Land of Israel.

MK Yehiel Hazan (Likud) said the "expected bitter death of Arafat the archterrorist is a fitting end to the painful way in which he led his people and Israel."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Israeli Arabs fly black flags


[Arab MKs will lead their “Israeli” Arab constituents in nation-wide mourning for the late Yasser Arafat; and Arab MKs accuse Israel’s Justice Minister of being “primitive” and of lacking “human compassion” for his derogatory remarks about Arafat]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2004) Black flags of mourning for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are to be raised over Israeli Arab institutions beginning on Friday, and the community is to hold a procession in Nazareth a day later, the Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee decided at an Arafat remembrance session on Thursday.

A delegation comprising all groups in the Israeli Arab sector, led by Arab MKs, is to attend Arafat's funeral on Friday in Ramallah.

The committee decided against ordering the closure of Israeli Arab businesses, although stores in Nazareth are to close on Saturday during the procession, according to Hadash leader MK Muhammad Barakei.

Barakei said the committee decided that Israeli Arabs would raise black flags of mourning for three days, but not the Palestinian flag.

Schools in the Arab sector are to be closed on Friday, and when pupils return from vacation discussions are to be held on Arafat, Barakei said.

Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish, the spiritual leader of Israel's Islamic movement, said there "would not be any disturbances" in the Arab sector in the coming days. In an interview with Israel Radio, Darwish said that nevertheless Israeli Arabs are angry that Arafat died at a time when he was kept prisoner, noting that he had appealed to Israel to allow him to travel.

At the committee meeting, Arafat was eulogized. Barakei said that although Arafat's life is over, his path of "aiming for peace between the two peoples in two states has not ended, and will be victorious."

Arab MKs expressed anger at Justice Minister Yosef Lapid for his derogatory comments against Arafat hours after his death. Lapid declared his hatred for Arafat on Israel Radio for killing Israelis and preventing peace. He also said Israel had no reason to be saddened over Arafat's death.

Barakei and MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe (United Arab List) both said Lapid's behavior was "primitive." Dehamshe said Lapid lacks any "human compassion," and said that Israelis are allowing their hatred for Arafat to "overtake their senses."

"Arafat was a leader who led his people for better or worse, and his goal was for them to reach independence," Dehamshe said.

Dehamshe said that the peace seekers on both sides had lost a "great leader" who could have followed through on any peace deal. He warned that any successor would have difficulty getting support for fateful decisions.

He said he has "no doubt" that Arafat wanted to reach a peace deal with Israel, because he made a strategic decision to do so. He blamed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for blocking any possibility of reaching a settlement by using excessive military force and then sticking to Ehud Barak's position that Israel had no partner.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


'Hatikva' made law

[Arab MK Mohammed Barakei will not sing Israel's national anthem because it refers to the Jewish soul yearning for the return to Zion]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2004) The lyrics of the national anthem, 'Hatkiva', were set in law by the Knesset on Wednesday with the aim of thwarting demands for changes to
the song to reflect the national identity of [non-Jewish] minorities.

Arab, haredi and left-wing MKs opposed the law, which was drafted by National Union [Zionist Rightist Jew] MK Michael Nudelman.

'Hatikva' was written by Naftali Herz Imber, who moved to Palestine in 1882. It was adopted by the provisional government upon the establishment of the State.

The law was approved in a 38-8 vote. Voting against were [ultra-Orthodox non-Zionist Jew] Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism), [anti-religious post-Zionist Leftist Jews] Yahad MKs Zehava Gal-On and Ran Cohen, and four Arab MKs: Jamal Zahalka and Wasa Tahal of Balad and Hadash MKs Mohammed Barakei and Issam Mahoul.

[Ultra-Orthodox non-Zionist Jews] Shas MKs Nissim Ze'ev and Ya'acov Margi abstained, as did Labor [Arab] MK Ghaleb Majadle. Nudelman said it is important to "protect" the anthem,
and the move would strengthen the State as being Jewish and democratic.

One of the MKs who has proposed scrapping 'Hatikva' is [Arab MK] Mohammed Barakei (Hadash). He said he submitted a bill several times that would replace 'Hatikva' with a "civilian anthem," that Israeli Arabs could also sing. "You can't expect 20 percent of the population to sing about the Jewish soul," he said, noting that he stands in silence during the anthem. He suggested that Israel choose another poem in Jewish folklore that does not relate to issues that are solely Jewish.

The full text of the anthem is written in the law, including key phrases such as "In the Jewish heart, A Jewish spirit still sings," "And the eyes look east toward Zion," and "We have not lost our hope of 2,000 years to be a free nation in our Land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem."

Knesset Interior Committee chairman [Zionist Rightist Jew] MK Yuri Stern (National Union) said the committee also had intended to include the musical notes that accompany 'Hatikva', but it was not legally possible.

Stern said that Israel is suffering from "daily deterioration of the State's symbols."

But Eichler said he could not support the law because the anthem belongs to the "Zionist movement", whereas there are many other movements in the country. He also said he believes the law is
undemocratic because it is aiming to enforce beliefs that "at least half of the people" in the State don't accept. "My anthem is the 'Shma' [the Torah’s famous declaration of faith]", he noted.

Gal-On said the law has "fascist undertones," and the State should not be enforcing symbols on its citizens who are free to have their own beliefs.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Arab MKs are not alone in opposing the legal canonization of ‘Hatikva’.   A small minority of Jewish MKs also oppose the national anthem for philosophical reasons ranging from its overt emphasis on Jewish ethnicity (this being the criticism of anti-religious post-Zionist Leftist Jews) to its lack of overt emphasis on Jewish fealty to the God of Israel (this being the criticism of ultra-Orthodox non-Zionist Jews).  However, Arab MKs’ wall-to-wall opposition to the national anthem is based upon a more fundamental truth which the Jewish State refuses to acknowledge, namely, that the Arab citizens of Israel do not accept that there is either an historical or a religious connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.  The national anthem, precisely because it evokes such a connection, is anathema to them.]


Only Arab MKs will attend Arafat's funeral

[Under intense pressure, Christian Arab MK Issam Mahoul retracts his earlier claim that Israel had poisoned Yasser Arafat]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2004) MKs from the Arab parties are planning to attend Yasser Arafat's planned funeral, and the Knesset was making arrangements on Wednesday with the security services to ensure their safe passage to Ramallah for the burial.

No other MKs are planning to attend the event. MK Zehava Gal-On (Yahad) said it would be "too tense of a situation" for Israelis [i.e., Israeli Jews] to attend.

Tension was already high in the Knesset on Wednesday as politicians waited for news on Arafat.

Justice Minister Yosef Lapid attacked [Arab] MK Issam Mahoul (Hadash) for comments in which he suggested that Israel may have poisoned Arafat. Mahoul said Israel has made assassination attempts against Palestinian figures in the past.

Lapid said it was a "disgrace" that someone like Mahoul was a member of Knesset. He noted that Palestinian officials had themselves ruled out the possibility of poisoning, and concluded that Mahoul, a Christian, was trying to "spread a blood libel," against the Jewish people.

Mahoul responded by calling Lapid a "white racist," and after repeated attacks from right-wing MKs he declared: "I never claimed that Israel poisoned Arafat." 

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) asked the government to act to halt the plan to have Arafat buried on Saturday, saying it would result in the security services desecrating the Sabbath.

MK Ran Cohen (Yahad) said Arafat's burial place would turn into a "Mount Arafat" that would serve during days of peace as a place of pilgrimage like Mount Herzl. He said Israel's consent to the burial at the Palestinian Authority's Ramallah headquarters would help encourage the new PA leadership to take a new pragmatic path toward reaching peace.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  It is a distressing sign of how acceptable it has become in the eyes of the Jewish public for Arab MKs to pay mass homage to a mass murderer that the Knesset of the Jewish State has undertaken responsibility to ensure that these perfidious MKs enjoy safe passage to Yasser Arafat’s funeral.  A further sobering thought arises from the fact that it is not only Muslim Arab MKs but, as well, Christian Arab MKs who habitually demonize the Jewish State.]


The Arab press mourns Arafat

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi eulogizes the late Yasser Arafat]

By Joseph Nasr [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, November 14, 2004) The wave of criticism leveled against Yasser Arafat by the Arab press for refusing to implement reforms and allow a new, younger Palestinian leadership to play an active role in Palestinian affairs, subsided on Friday with his death and gave way to warm sorrows and tributes.

The following is a number of opinions and editorials from Arabic newspapers dealing with the event of Arafat's death:

. . .

‘The kaffiya that never fell’ opinion [article] by Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi in the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper:

From the proud Nazareth, from the high Galilee, from the green Carmel Mounts, from Acre, Haifa, Lod and Ramleh, from the fertile valleys of Ara, from the resistant Triangle and the lofty Negev we tell you:

Salutes to you my father, whose kaffiya never fell. Salutes to you, the wind that moved mountains. Salutes to you, Mr. President.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  All of the towns and regions mentioned by MK Tibi in his farewell salute to the mass murderer are inside pre-1967 Israel (i.e., Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines), the implication being that “Israeli” Arabs rightly regard that mass murderer as their father and leader.]


[Imprisoned Arab terrorist leader] Barghouti drops out of PA election

[Arab MK Jamal Zkhalka visits terrorist leader in Israeli jail, publicly praises him, and demands his immediate release]

By Lamia Lahoud [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, November 28, 2004) Imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti decided Friday not to run against Fatah candidate Mahmoud Abbas in the election for Palestinian Authority chairman, and instead urged Fatah members to support Abbas.

Kadoura Fares, a Palestinian legislator and Barghouti aide, met with the West Bank Fatah leader Friday afternoon in jail and later conveyed Barghouti's message in a press conference at the Park Hotel in Ramallah.

Abbas (Abu Mazen) said he would name Barghouti as his deputy if he wins the election, according to a Palestinian official. In addition, a Fatah conference will be convened in August to elect new members to the Fatah Central Committee. Barghouti will most likely be elected to serve on the 24-member Fatah committee, one PA official said.

Barghouti and senior Gaza Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan have long called for elections in the Fatah Central Committee. They said it is undemocratic to allow the same leaders to run Fatah for 15 years -- the amount of time since the committee's last elections.

At the press conference, Fares said Barghouti urged the Palestinian people to fight for their liberty and continue the intifada.

. . .

MK Jamal Zkhalka (Balad) met Barghouti Friday in his prison cell. Palestinian sources said he was under pressure from PA officials and Arab MKs not to run for PA chairman.

"The Palestinian leadership needs Marwan Barghouti as a key figure who could stabilize the situation after Arafat in any serious negotiations with Israel," Zkhalka said. He said Israel should release Barghouti immediately.

Palestinian sources said the Arab MKs, as well as Abbas, will try to convince Israel to let Barghouti out of jail after the elections to unite the various Fatah factions.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  The democratic-minded Marwan Barghouti is the leader of a branch of the late Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement known as Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades whose main activity has consisted of murdering unarmed Jews through the use of car bombs, machine guns and suicide bombers.  Although secular in orientation, Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades has often conducted joint terror attacks with its “religious” siblings, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  Barghouti was arrested, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment by Israel for his leadership role in mass murder.  Nevertheless, MK Zkhalka sees him only as a hero.  And, obviously, prison is no place for a hero.  Moreover, as an abject lesson to those who believe that a truly democratic “Palestine” would never contemplate continuing its war of terror against Israel, please note that Barghouti apparently sees no contradiction in publicly advocating for democracy inside both Fatah and the Palestinian Authority while simultaneously publicly advocating for war against Israel.]


[Again] Barghouti expected to withdraw from PA election

[Joining a delegation of Fatah members, Arab MK Taleb A-Sana consults with imprisoned terrorist]

By Staff [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2004) A team of Fatah members, as well as Israeli Arab MK Taleb A-Sana, on Friday visited convicted Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti in prison to try and convince him to not run in the Palestinian elections.

Another delegation, which could include top advisors to PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas advisers, is expected to visit Barghouti on Sunday,
officials said.

According to Israel Radio, Barghouti is expected to release a statement Saturday in Ramallah announcing his withdrawal from the race for PA chairman. The statement is expected to be delivered by his wife, Fadwa.

Barghouti is serving five life terms in an Israeli prison for his role in deadly attacks on Israelis.

. . .

With AP

(©) The Jerusalem Post


MK Hazan says Arabs are worms

[After “Palestinian” Arab terrorists murder a number of “Israeli” Arab Beduin soldiers, Arab MK Wasal Taha condemns Muslim soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces as murderers, and he demands that all Muslim soldiers in the Israeli army “get out immediately”]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, December 14, 2004) Likud MK Yehiel Hazan called Arabs "worms who live underground and above the ground" in a speech in the Knesset on Monday, saying they have been "harming the Jewish people for 100 years." He was speaking about the attack on the IDF in Gaza [at its border crossing with Egypt] on Sunday in which Palestinians tunneled under an army [border] post, killing five [Muslim “Israeli” Arab Beduin] soldiers.

"They are like worms, those Arabs, they are everywhere," Hazan said, criticizing the government for "stretching out a hand for peace." [Arab] MK Wasal Taha (Balad) said in response that Hazan is a "disgrace" to the Knesset.

Labor [Arab] MK Raleb Majadala said Hazan now has "no reason to complain when he is called a racist." [Arab] MK Issam Mahoul (Hadash) added: "Hazan is not a racist but himself a worm."

Hazan then attacked Arab MKs for what he said was their concern for Palestinian terrorists who murdered Muslim [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers and not for the Arabs in Israel. Deputy Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who was presiding over the session, urged Hazan to clarify his remark and explain that he was not referring to the entire Arab nation.

Hazan, who heads the settlement caucus in the Knesset, then said that he was "referring to terrorists." But he accused the Arab MKs of supporting them, calling them "representatives of worms." He also said the Palestinian terrorists strike indiscriminately, referring to the [occasional] killing of [civilian] Muslims [who thereby become the unintended victims of “Palestinian” Arab terrorists -- the terrorists’ collateral damage].

But Taha condemned the Muslim IDF soldiers. "What are they doing there? They are murdering there. They are conquerors. They should get out immediately," he said.

Hazan said he regretted that the government was heading in a direction that he opposes to uproot Jews from Gush Katif while "terror continues unabated." He also attacked Palestinian prime ministerial candidate Mahmoud Abbas for holding talks with the terror groups so he can "first become the leader of the terrorists in the Palestinian state."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Speaking sanctions on Hadash MK Mahoul
By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, December 22, 2004) Hadash [Arab] MK Issam Mahoul has been banned from speaking in the Knesset until mid-January by the Knesset Ethics Committee for using extreme language against the government during a debate last summer.

Education Minister Limor Livnat filed the complaint against Mahoul for saying that the government is "bloody," "piggish," and "deadly." Mahoul was eventually removed from the Knesset session at Livnat's urging.

Mahoul refused to defend himself in the committee.

The ban takes effect next week, and when Mahoul took to the podium on Tuesday he called the committee decision a form of terror.

In reaching its decision, the committee noted that Mahoul was also given a reprimand in 2001, and banned from three sessions in 2002 after calling the prime minister an "arch-murderer."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Knesset approves bill for IDF chief chaplain, kadi

[Arab MKs oppose providing “Israeli” Arab soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces with Muslim military chaplains because it would legitimize such military service]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, December 23, 2004) The IDF may get more religious officials, after the Knesset on Wednesday approved the preliminary reading of a bill that would give the army a chief pastor, kadi (for Muslims) and kadi madhab (for Druse).

After repeatedly being rejected by the Knesset, the bill was raised as a result of the recent killings of five Beduin soldiers in an attack in the Gaza Strip. The government dropped its opposition to the bill as a result of the attack, and it was approved in a 34-30 vote.

Arab and religious MKs opposed the bill, whereas Meretz, Labor, Likud and Shinui supported it.

Yahad MK Ran Cohen, who drafted the bill, said soldiers should be given religious services while they serve and also if they die in service. "They should be given military funeral services officiated by a military chaplain," he said. According to Cohen, the appointment of the religious officials will increase support for their service among their families.

Hadash MK Issam Mahoul said the Arab MKs oppose the bill because it would give religious sanction for Israeli Arabs to serve in the army. He also said that the religious officials would be subservient to the IDF and not to their religion.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


UN report blames Israel, US for lack of Arab reform

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara co-authors U.N. report which partially blames the creation of Israel for the lack of democratic and other reforms in the Arab world]

By ORLY HALPERN and AP [excerpt republished]

(Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2005)  The creation of Israel and the US support for its policies in the West Bank are partially to blame for the lack of reform in the Arab world, according to a UN-sponsored report released Tuesday.

The Arab Human Development Report 2004 (AHDR) cited the creation of the Jewish State as one of the roots of authoritarianism in the Middle East, along with the discovery of oil and the support for dictators by the superpowers during the Cold War.

. . .

The report, which was written by Arab intellectuals and scholars including MK Azmi Bishara and Palestinian human rights lawyer Daoud Kuttab, said that the US undermined the international system by repeatedly using or threatening to use its UN Security Council veto, which enabled Israel to continue building new settlements and the security barrier in the West Bank.

"This has pushed many people in the region to lose hope of obtaining justice from global governance and could exacerbate a tendency towards extremism," the report said.

. . . 

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Despite the fact that pogroms initiated by Muslim “Palestinian” Arabs against Christian “Palestinian” Arabs have created a steady exodus of the latter from Judea and Samaria since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993 -- so that formerly Christian-populated towns such as Bethlehem and Ramallah are now mostly Muslim-populated -- MK Bishara, a Christian “Israeli” Arab, chooses to bray, not for the cessation of the Muslim war against his co-religionists, but rather for the elimination of the Jewish State.  Yet, if what his U.N. report asserts is actually true, then the dismantlement of the Jewish State would go a long way towards converting the Arab world from a cesspool into a paradise, in which case MK Bishara is only thinking of the Greater Good.]


Extension of family reunification ban advances

[Arab MKs denounce continued ban on “Palestinian” Arabs relocating to Israel and obtaining Israeli citizenship upon marrying “Israeli” Arabs]

By Nina Gilbert

(Jerusalem Post, May 26, 2005) A measure that would extend the ban on Palestinians who marry Israelis [i.e., “Israeli” Arabs]
from moving to Israel was advanced by the Knesset in its first reading on Wednesday.

The government-initiated bill, that would extend the ban for another year, was approved in a 41-23 vote. The measure was enacted three years ago at the peak of the terror wave.

Under the measure, which has been revised, men over 35 and women from 25 years old can join Israeli spouses instead of the sweeping ban in place since 2002.

Arab MKs denounced the move during the debate on the bill, and Deputy Speaker Colette Avital removed several of them. MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said the next plan would be to "sterilize Arabs." MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said the bill should be "put in the trash."

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that as a result of petitions against the law to the High Court of Justice changes were introduced to "reach a balance between security needs and the needs of citizens." Livni said that countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, for instance, also had policies that limited citizenship for those who marry their citizens. She said that in any case the bill was entirely based on security considerations.

Barakei responded: "You know that is a lie." Avital ejected him from the debate.

National Union MK Zvi Hendel called for a vote of no-confidence on the measure, since he said it would result in the entry of Palestinians to Israel and was liable to open the door to terrorists. However, the government called for an immediate vote of confidence on the bill and the bill was approved.

The ban on Palestinian reunification was imposed after the suicide bombing at Haifa's Matza restaurant in March 2002, which killed 15 Israelis and was carried out by a Palestinian who had become an Israeli citizen through marriage.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Although Israel did, in fact, impose this ban for security reasons, it has the absolute moral right to continue it for demographic reasons.  For a fuller explanation of this topic, please see this Compendium’s August 1, 2003 news item and my commentary thereon.]


Soldier hit by stone during anti-fence protest loses eye

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi joins members of Hamas and other terrorist groups in violenting demonstrating against construction of Israel’s security fence]

By Haaretz Service, 4 June 2005

An Israel Defense Forces soldier has lost an eye after being hit by a stone during a demonstration against the separation fence on Friday.

Hundreds of local Palestinians, extreme leftist demonstrators, and Palestinian activists from Fatah, Hamas, and the National Front [-- more than 500 people --] took part in the protest in the West Bank village of Bil'in, near Ramallah.

Military sources argued that the soldier's wound testified to the IDF's need to use controversial crowd control methods such as gas grenades and rubber bullets. According to the sources, it is common to see [Arab] MKs and Israelis standing in the front lines of protests, creating a barrier between the soldiers and Palestinian demonstrators, some of whom exploit this barrier to throw stones.

Seven protestors were wounded, and two Israeli demonstrators were arrested. A second soldier was also wounded by lightly when he was hit by a rock.

Prominent figures attending the protest included Palestinian Authority minister Ahmad Majdalani, activist Mustafa Barghouti and MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta'al), who was treated for smoke inhalation after IDF soldiers used gas grenades against the demonstrators.

Tibi also claimed that soldiers singled him out and punched him. "They moved towards me like an arrowhead, one of them reached me, punched me in the stomach, smiled and left," Tibi said.

Tibi: Hurting Arab MKs -- a hobby for soldiers

Protesters allege that the confrontation broke out after soldiers provoked the demonstrators. According to activists the security forces hurled gas grenades, and several, including MK Tibi, were treated for smoke inhalation.

"We wanted to hold a quiet protest, but soldiers are probably instructed to assault public figures. They beat Arab MKs as a hobby," said Tibi who also called on the Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin make his stance clear and protect Arab MKs.

The IDF dismissed Tibi's claims as baseless, although left open the possibility that the MK was injured after security forces pushed back the protesters. In response, Tibi said "books can be written about the credibility of the IDF Spokesman. They had better wait before releasing such statements and look into the facts, and we have photos from the events," he said.

Israel uses sound technology to disperse riot

On Friday, the IDF unveiled a new crowd-dispersal tactic, emitting painful bursts of sound at a special frequency to help break up the demonstration, military officials and witnesses said.

IDF officials confirmed soldiers used a new "non-lethal" tactic at the Bili'n demonstration.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity under army regulations, said the weapon uses "voice frequencies" to disperse crowds. They said Israel developed the technology over the past four years, but had never used it in a live situation before Friday. No further details were immediately available.

An Associated Press photographer said a military vehicle arrived toward the end of the demonstration, which lasted several hours.

Located about 500 meters from the demonstration, the vehicle emitted several bursts of sounds, about one minute in length each time. Although the sound was not loud, it caused people to cover their ears and grab their heads in discomfort.

[Note:  Not surprisingly, MK Tibi, who is a practicing physician, is more concerned about a nonexistent conspiracy to “beat Arab MKs as a hobby” than about the young IDF soldier who lost his eye to the rock thrown by one of Tibi’s fellow demonstrators at that “quiet protest”.]


'Guantanamo 2' angers Israeli Arabs

[By publicizing imprisioned terrorists’ allegations that prison guards at Megiddo Prison damaged three Korans, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi incites Israel’s Islamic Movement against the Jewish State]

By Yaakov Katz

(Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2005) There were calls for revenge Tuesday night after Palestinian security detainees [i.e., captured terrorists] in Megiddo Prison claimed Prisons Service guards ripped up and defiled three Korans during a routine search of their cells.

Calling the incident "Guantanamo 2" in reference to the recent US Defense Department acknowledgment that guards at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba defiled several Korans, [“Israeli” Arab] Sheikh Kamel Hatib, deputy head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch [based in the “Israeli” Arab city of Um el-Fahim], told The Jerusalem Post the Muslim world would react harshly to the desecration.

"Someone will have to pay the price for this," Hatib said. "They have harmed all Muslim women, children and men by desecrating the Word of God."

MK Ahmed Tibi claimed he had received complaints from prisoners that guards tore and stepped on three copies of the Koran while searching their cells.

"This is vulgar, primitive behavior that cannot be allowed to happen," he said, calling for a special Knesset session to discuss the affair. He said he also called Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra to complain, and that prisoners would go on a hunger strike on Wednesday to protest.

Ezra and Prisons Service Commissioner Ya'acov Ganot visited Megiddo Tuesday night and said that there had been no faults in the functioning of the prison staff during the searches. They called the entire event a provocation.

MK Muhammad Barakei also arrived at the prison to study the situation and speak with prisoners.

Prisoners said that following a routine morning roll call, guards raided their cells and tents, brutally turning over their belongings. While the guards found 81 cellphones and 40 knives and other sharp objects during the raid, the prisoners claimed they ripped up several Korans.

Prisons Service officials dismissed the accusations, claiming the guards flipped through one Koran while searching for illegal objects frequently hidden inside. While the guards were searching the book, several pages which were not part of it, but had been placed inside, fell out.

"We are very sensitive when searching through the prisoners' belongings, especially Korans and other holy objects," one Prisons Service officer said. "It is important to remember that we have found dozens of dangerous objects hidden inside the prisoners' holy artifacts and we will continue to search them."

Ganot instructed the prison's warden to investigate the matter.

A recent report of US soldiers desecrating the Koran at the lockup in Guantanamo set off deadly riots in the Muslim world.

"This is just like Guantanamo, and the Prisons Service will be like the Americans who in the beginning claimed it didn't happen and in the end admitted it did," Hatib said. "The Prisons Service thinks it can curse the Koran and our prophet Muhammad, but it will now begin to hear from people who will express their anger over this desecration."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


MK slammed for provoking prisoners

[Arab MKs continue to incite Arabs, both inside and outside of Megiddo Prison, over alleged damage to Korans]

By Yaacov Katz

(Jerusalem Post, June 9, 2005) Arab MKs exchanged accusations with the Prisons Service on Thursday over the alleged desecration of three Korans at Megiddo Prison in the north during a routine search of Palestinian detainees' cells on Tuesday.

"The Prisons Service is hiding the books from me," MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe said Thursday following a visit to the prison. "What has happened here is horrible and instead of revealing the truth [Prisons Service chief Yaacov] Ganot is not participating and has instead decided to make matters worse."

Prisons Service officials accused Dahamshe of "trying to incite" the prisoners by asking to see the alleged defiled holy books which he claimed were being hidden by the prison command. Officials said he also broke prison regulations after trying to sneak his assistant into the prison with a camera.

"The Prisons Service is shocked that instead of investigating the matter responsibly, MK Dahamshe has decided to incite the inmates against the prison command," the service released in a statement.

On Thursday the Islamic Jihad released pictures of the torn Korans the organization said it received from inmates within the prison who took the pictures with cellular phone cameras.

Prisons Service officials have dismissed claims that guards defiled Korans, claiming the guards flipped through one book while searching for illegal objects frequently hidden inside. While the guards were searching the book, several pages which were not part of the book but were placed inside, fell out.

Thursday afternoon, MK Taleb A-Sanaa led dozens of [“Israeli” Arab] demonstrators during a protest outside Megiddo Prison. A-Sanaa met with Ganot and demanded the establishment of an inquiry commission to investigate the accusations.

Sheikh Kamel Hatib -- deputy head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch -- said earlier in the week that the Muslim world would react harshly to the desecration of its holy book.

"Someone will need to pay for this," Hatib said. "They have harmed all Muslim women, children and men by desecrating the word of god."

The charges closely followed a report in Newsweek that American soldiers flushed a Koran down the toilet at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

© The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  It seems more than coincidental that these allegations against Israel happened to surface in the mouths of Arab MKs so soon after the United States acknowledged damaging some Korans.  The latter acknowledgment led to widespread Muslim protests and a rekindling of Muslim hatred against the United States.  Of course, the Muslim world hardly needs the pretext of Koran abuse to hate Israel, but it might require such a pretext in order to ignite and sustain worldwide demonstrations against the Jewish State’s continued existence.]


Israeli Arabs call on gov't not to probe Zada's death

[Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh warns government not to probe revenge killing of captured Jewish murderer by “Israeli” Arab mob]

By Yaacov Katz and Jpost Staff

(Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2005) The Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership [which includes “Israeli” Arab MKs and other elected “Israeli” Arab officials] called on the government Saturday to refrain from investigating the death of [Jewish deserter-soldier] Eden Natan Zada, who was lynched by an angry [“Israeli” Arab] mob after he murdered four Israeli Arabs in the northern town of Shfaram on Thursday.

MK Mohammed Barakeh warned on Saturday that protests could erupt if police probe Zada's lynching.

According to Barakeh, the crowd attacked Zada out of concern he would continue with his shooting rampage. He denied that Zada was beaten after being handcuffed by police.

However, Shfaram's security officer, Jamal Aliam, told Army Radio that Zada had been attacked by dozens [of “Israeli” Arabs] after he had been handcuffed and subdued by police.

The Committee, which met in Nazareth to discuss the Arab sector's reaction to the attack, also urged the government to collect weapons from settlers and to promote equal rights for Israeli Arabs, Israel Radio reported.

The letter of demands will be presented to the United Nations and to foreign envoys in Israel.  In addition, the Israeli Arab leaders decided to hold a mass rally next week in Shfaram.

During the meeting, head of the Islamic Movement's northern faction, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, who was recently released from prison, called on Israeli Arabs to come in masses to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tisha B'Av [the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, which date commemorates the destruction of the First Jewish Temple by the Babylonian Empire and the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple by the Roman Empire] to defend the holy site from [Jewish] anti-disengagement activists who plan a rally there.

Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur, head of the Islamic Movement's southern faction, responded to Hamas's Friday promise to avenge the Shfaram attack, calling on Hamas to "attend to its own business and allow Israeli Arabs to decide how to deal with Jewish terrorism."

Before the meeting, Committee Spokesman Abed Anabtawi warned that he has not ruled out a "non-violent intifada" as a possible response to the killings, Army Radio reported.

"A popular uprising against the fascism and negative treatment we receive is the most reasonable scenario," Anabtawi said.

However, Shauki Hatib, chairman of the Committee, said that the Israeli Arab leadership would continue "to act responsibly as it has in the past 57 years."

Both Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Interior Minister Ophir Paz-Pines visited the bereaved families on Saturday.

According to Army Radio, family members invited Peres after he called them over the weekend. "Your pain is the pain of the entire State of Israel. We will not allow crazy men and terrorists to harm your life here," Peres told the families.

Paz-Pines also met with mayor of Shfaram Wassam Nissim and promised that the government would probe the incident to the fullest.

Speaking to Army Radio, Paz-Pines said, "The attack has caused a major trauma here. However, from my meeting with the mayor and city officials, I am convinced that a strong leadership exists here -- a leadership that does not allow extremism to take a stand."

© The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  It is instructive to contrast the condemnatory statements of Jewish leaders after a Jew murders an Arab (as rare as that may be) with the condemnatory statements of “Israeli” Arab leaders after an Arab murders a Jew (as common as that may be).  In the latter situation, no condemnatory statements (let alone mass rallies against terrorism or public pleas to the Palestinian Authority and its Islamic siblings to cease its jihad against Israel’s Jewish population) are ever forthcoming, even where “Israeli” Arabs have also been murdered and maimed during such an Arab terror attack.  In fact, MK Barakeh (sometimes spelled Barakei) and his fellow “Israeli” Arab MKs have not only refused to express any outrage whatsoever over innumerable Arab terror attacks against Israel’s Jewish population, but they have habitually sought to justify such atrocities by describing them as understandable (and sometimes even praiseworthy) responses to Israel’s “crimes” against the Arabs.  Moreover, in light of the foregoing, it is hardly surprising that these same Arab MKs have also been in the forefront of those demanding that the government prevent angry Jewish mobs from harming captured Arab terrorists, and that the government even free convicted Arab terrorists from prison. Examples of MK Barakeh’s longstanding position on the validity of terrorism against Israel’s Jewish population and on the heroic status of its perpetrators can be found in many items of this Compendium, including those dated November 6, 2000, September 8, 2002 and May 21, 2004.   However, now that some of Israel’s Arab population have been specifically targeted for attack by a Jew, and now that an angry Arab mob has lynched the perpetrator (after he had already been captured, placed under arrest and handcuffed) and injured 26 police officers in the process, these same Arab MKs, including MK Barakeh, have now become firm believers, not only that there is no justification for terrorism, but also that the government should facilitate vigilante justice being meted out to the perpetrators thereof -- that is, of course, as long as the perpetrators thereof are Jews, and the victims thereof are Arabs.  In fact, a careful examination of the views of Arab MKs reveals that their newfound outrage over terrorism does not even extend to those situations where “Israeli” Arabs have been murdered by Arab terrorists (e.g, sometimes “Israeli” Arabs are the unintended victims of “Palestinian” Arab suicide bombers targeting Jews;  and sometimes “Israeli” Arab Beduin soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces are the intended victims of “Palestinian” Arab terror attacks), as is evidenced by the December 14, 2004 item of this Compendium.  The bottom line is that Arab MKs will not condemn any act of terrorism against Jews, and Arab MKs will not condemn any act of terrorism against Arabs unless it is perpetrated by Jews.]


Arab MKs scarce as panel holds session in Sakhnin

[Only one Arab MK bothers to attend Knesset committee session held in “Israeli” Arab town to discuss the drafting of a Constitution for Israel]


(Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2005) The status of Arab citizens in a future Israeli constitution was on the agenda when the Knesset Law committee held an unprecedented gathering in the Arab town of Sakhnin this week.

It was the first time a Knesset committee session had been held in an Arab town, a fact many in attendance chose to highlight as a problem of Arab participation in government. The event was sponsored by the Citizens' Accord Forum between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

"It is the first time you have come to us, an Arab village, and here we all sit speaking in Hebrew, your language," said Muhammad Basir, the mayor of Sakhnin. "We feel very isolated from the Israeli government here, and are not sure how to participate."

However, the attendance of their own government representatives was also an issue. Although all 10 Arab MKs were invited to participate in the event, and four announced that they would attend, only one, MK Issam Mahoul arrived.

"Right here we have one of the biggest problems in the Israeli Arab community," said an event organizer. "Their own government representation isn't interested in working with the government."

While Mahoul acknowledged his colleagues' absence, he argued that in the past Arab MKs have been frustrated by their lack of influence in the government.

MK Michael Eitan (Likud), chairman of the Law Committee, and MK Etti Livni (Shinui) also attended the special session and listened to their colleague's frustration.

"I came here to try and convince the Arab politicians and leaders to take part in talks to create a constitution for Israel," said Livni. "We have come to them in hopes that the change in physical location will ease some of the tensions and move things forward."

Although there have been numerous attempts since its founding in 1948, Israel has never succeeding in drafting and signing a state constitution. The Knesset Law Committee, which has been researching possible drafts for the past several years, said it would present a report of its findings to the knesset within the next three months. All possible drafts so far, said Eitan, have emphasized the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, a statement that troubles Israeli Arab citizens.

"What does it mean, Jewish? This is a question you Jews are still grappling with," said Mahoul. "The State of Israel is Jewish, and I have realized this. But what needs to be realized now, and determined now are the rights of the other people, the other citizens, living here."

During the debate, several people stressed that although the committee was near finishing its report, it had never consulted with the Arab community on its findings.

"What I want is for us to come up with a version and for you to come up with a version and then for us to discuss a compromise," said Muhammad Ganum, an Israeli Arab citizen in attendance. "You have had so many discussions with the ultra-religious community in Israel, and so many compromises with them. Our community is similar in population, why don't we receive that consideration?"

During the session, which was held in the Sakhnin high school teacher's lounge, several dozen high school students spoke to the MKs of their own issues growing up as a minority in Israel.

"Why, in this constitution that you are proposing, are you not including 20 percent of the residents of Israel?" asked 17-year-old Tarak Shakour. "Where am I as an Arab citizen in this picture, because I can't find myself in this picture."

Others raised questions of how Israel planned to regard its minority communities as a whole, taking into account initiatives, such as affirmative action, that other countries have employed to help minorities.

"We have the opposite of affirmative action here," said one student. "We have negative action, downward action that only depresses us more."

Eitan and Livni listened and took notes throughout the session, and voiced hope that the session would not be the last to be held in an Arab town.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  The disregard that Arab MKs have exhibited for the Jewish State’s attempt to include its Arab populace in the legislative decisionmaking process is even more striking when one considers that MK Mahoul is a Christian Arab.  In other words, despite the fact that Israel’s Arab population is overwhelmingly Muslim, not a single Muslim Arab MK bothered to attend this Knesset committee session.]


[Mostly Arab] MKs blast Mazuz for support of PID decision

By Rebecca A. Stoil

(Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2005) Arab MKs, aided by [Jewish] MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), took turns taking swings at Attorney General Menahem Mazuz and his support of the decision of Police Investigative Division (PID) to close the criminal cases surrounding the October 2000 shooting deaths of [12 “Israeli” and 1 “Palestinian”] Arab rioters

Mazuz held a special press conference Wednesday afternoon in which he blasted critics of the recent Police Investigative Division (PID) to close the files concerning the police shooting deaths of 13 Arabs, saying that "to accuse [the legal system] of racism is irresponsible."

After MK Eliezer Sandberg (Shinui) opened the debate, which was held during a special sitting of the Knesset during its summer recess that was held due to a special request by more than 50 Knesset members.

Sandburg echoed Mazuz's argument that the decision to close the case supports the rule of law in Israel by ensuring that indictments are only handed down when sufficient evidence can be found, but he was frequently interrupted by calls from MK Taleb el-Sana (United Arab List). A-Sana was repeatedly called to order and even lectured by Knesset Speaker Ruben Rivlin for his continued interruptions.

Mohammed Barakeh took the podium in order to criticize both the decision of the PID to close the case as well as to criticize Mazuz's defense of the decision.

"One who pulled the trigger and killed needs to be brought to justice," Barakeh demanded, arguing that "victims exist, the crime exists, but there is nobody deemed responsible for the crime."

Mazuz, he said, "made a serious mistake" in believing that the lack of indictments was "an Arab issue," but that it was actually "a civilian issue of the first level for Israel."

MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz-Yahad) continued the assault, claiming that the decision was a "stunning slap in the face of the Or Commission" that proved that "there is one justice for Jews and one justice for Arabs" and sent a message that "it is legitimate to kill protesters."

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) attacked Mazuz explicitly, saying that "Mazuz poured salt on our wounds. And he said that we need to enjoy the salt that he put in our wounds." Zahalka argued that there have been additional cases in which Israeli Arabs were killed by security forces, and that in none of them were their killers convicted of any wrongdoing.

Earlier Wednesday, the press conference, which Mazuz held jointly with PID director Herzl Shabiro, State Prosecutor Eran Shendar and Dr. Aharon Avramovitz, director general of the Justice Ministry, was supposed to buffer the judiciary against recent criticism due to the lack of indictments handed down in relation to the October 2000 shooting deaths of 13 Arab protesters.

Mazuz described the goal of the joint press conference as a response to "the chain of blatant, irresponsible and unfounded attacks against the Police Investigative Division in the Justice Ministry and its decision in the investigation of the deaths of 13 people during the October 2000 events."

Mazuz lauded the decision, claiming that it in fact promoted the mandate of a fair judiciary: "None of us wants to live in a country in which indictments are handed down without evidence just to satisfy a specific public, just to look personally or publicly good. To the person who decided to close the cases it was quite clear that the decision would be received with strong reactions -- but it was his duty as a prosecutor, like the obligation of all public workers, to reach the correct decision according to the law, according to the evidence and according to his professional considerations, even when that decision will come under criticism, and not to make the popular decision."

Mazuz claimed that allegations that the decision was influenced by anti-Arab racism were "irresponsible", adding that the "allegation comes from professional sources from whom one could have expected greater responsibility."

Instead, he argued that the Justice Ministry has "throughout the years through its different branches has been found at the forefront of efforts to defend the rights of Israeli Arabs, including assertive efforts against crimes of incitement to racism."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  The “Israeli” Arab insurrection of October 2000 lasted for a full 10 days and was planned by the “Israeli” Arab leadership (including “Israeli” Arab MKs) to coincide with, and to provide support for, the “Palestinian” Arab jihad declared by Yasser Arafat against Israel in the aftermath of Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount just before Rosh HaShana of that year.  Accordingly, on cue, thousands of “Israeli” Arabs stormed the main roads throughout the lower Galilee region of Israel, thereby severing vital transportation routes between northern Israel and the remainder of the country, and began to attack the Jewish vehicles thereby entrapped, as a consequence of which a Jewish motorist, Bachor Jan, was murdered when a boulder was hurled at his car from a roadway overpass. The mayhem lasted for several days before the government permitted the police to intervene.  When the outnumbered police finally arrived to reopen the roads and disperse the rioting mobs, they were met with a barrage of firebombs and other weapons, to which they responded with rubber-coated bullets.  In the ensuing chaos, 12 “Israeli” Arabs and 1 “Palestinian” Arab were killed by the police.  The Arab MKs, mayors, and leaders of Israel’s Islamic Movement who incited the insurrection are primarily responsible for these deaths and for the injuries to police officers.  Moreover, these rioters should not be equated to benign protestors.  On the contary, these rioters were perpetrating violent treason against the Jewish State.  And had this insurrection not been suppressed by police bullets it is likely that Israel would have quickly found itself in the midst of a full-scale “Israeli” Arab jihad in supplementation of the “Palestinian” Arab one.  Finally, it should come as no surprise that neither Arab MKs nor Leftist Jewish MKs have demanded any investigation, let alone arrest and prosecution, of the Arabs rioters who murdered that innocent -- and apparently forgotten -- Jewish motorist.]

[Note:  Here is how one Jerusalem Post columnist has recently described the “Israeli” Arab insurrection of October 2000:

Middle Israel: The other civil war
By Amotz Asa-El

(Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2005) According to the worst-case scenarios that preceded the Gaza pullout, we would now be only days, not months, after its completion, and the damage we’d be staring down would not be about misallocated funds or homeless evacuees, but about dead Jews.

The expectation for a civil war was rife, universal, and far from unfounded. Sensible Israelis knew what kind of convictions, frustrations and explosives were at play, how inflammable the situation had become, and how determined Ariel Sharon was to arrive at a goal, any goal, once he had zeroed in on it.

Understandably, then, when it all ended as bloodlessly as it did, most Israelis, whether Orange or Blue, were relieved regardless of their level of satisfaction with Gaza-less Israel’s political complexion. Civil wars, all agreed, had severely traumatized all nations that endured them, and as such would best be avoided at almost any cost.

Of course, the very same experience also taught that once waged, a challenge from within to a state’s sovereignty had to be met with the kind of resolve ultimately demonstrated by initially reluctant civil warrior [United States President] Abraham Lincoln. That is why Middle Israelis agreed, with a deep sense of sorrow, when Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz said that if shot at, IDF soldiers would shoot back. Of course they would; otherwise they would not be soldiers and Israel would not be a state.

Fortunately, there was no need in all this during the events of summer 2005, which did not bring with them a civil war. Unfortunately, there was plenty of need of such use of force during our previous brush with civil war, the one that was actually waged, though not by the far Right, but by its inversion, the Israeli Arab minority, five years ago this month.

IN FALL 2000 Israel faced one of the ultimate nightmare scenarios its security forces had historically feared most: an assault on its public domain waged simultaneously by Palestinian terrorists and Israeli Arab rioters. Only a military invasion or a non-conventional attack could be more threatening for Israel’s survival.

Incited by rabble-rousers who portrayed then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount as a desecration of an Islamic site, the rioters , 13 of whom were killed by the police forces they combated, stormed much of northern Israel, pelting with rocks pedestrians and drivers, blocking major arteries, torching banks, stores and bus shelters. Worse yet, it all happened at the very moment when Gaza and the West Bank were already ablaze as Palestinian terrorists launched the war ordered by Yasser Arafat, in response to the sweeping land-for-peace proposal he was offered at Camp David two months earlier.

In other words, both in terms of the cause they were championing and in terms of the means to which they were resorting, the Israeli Arabs who violated the law and disturbed the public order in fall 2000 were part of an effort that any life-seeking democracy would perceive, and treat, not as an act of civil unrest, but as an act of war.

War, by definition, is the deployment of organized violence by one society against another. This is exactly what the vast majority of Israel’s citizens felt they were facing at the time, and no attempt to rewrite history as they experienced it in those days of awe will convince that majority that what it faced in fall 2000 was anything less than an enemy attack. Even the Confederate [Army’s] attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, which touched off the American Civil War, was not as provocative, because that assault on sovereignty at least did not involve collusion with an external enemy.

As such, the events of October 2000, though handled by police for administrative and logistical reasons, could not in the first place be scrutinized by the Police Investigation Department (PID), because that agency’s task is to scrutinize cop behavior during normal times, lest officers abuse their powers while dealing with the suspected rapists, robbers, thieves, pickpockets and other criminals from whom they are normally expected to protect the public.

Yet despite being about war and peace, the fall 2000 disturbances investigation was still placed in the hands of a forum originally designed to deal with the entirely different matter of law and order. Why? Because of Jewish politicians who were too cowardly to look Israeli Arab politicians in the eye and call them to task: if not for originally inspiring that attack on Israeli sovereignty, then at least for having subsequently failed to condemn its unleashing, and ultimately joined the effort to glorify their constituents’ attack on the very state they, their leaders, pretend to serve.

THE EFFORT to manipulate the debate over fall 2000 into a civil disobedience context is all the more hypocritical, considering that those ostensibly espousing that kind of liberalism are nowhere to be found when it is challenged in situations that do not involve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Had [Arab MK] Ahmed Tibi’s aim been to fight police abuse and promote human rights, rather than to hammer from within at the Jewish state, he would hav protested, for instance, the mass and indefinite arrests of minors who protested the impending disengagement [of Jews from their longstanding residences in Gaza and northern Samaria]. Unlike the civil warriors of fall 2000, they were abused even without hurting anyone. But never mind Tibi et al.; their agenda is well known and expecting it to change is not much less aloof than expecting Israel to win the World Cup.

The question is why the PID could not declare the events of fall 2000 essentially military in character, and as such beyond its jurisdiction, and why the politicians who would have held the settler leadership accountable had violence erupted in the wake of the Gaza pullout, now fail to demand similar accountability from Israeli Arab leaders. Just because the civil war they waged was, fortunately, nipped in the bud?

The PID decision to ‘re-examine’ its own decision to close down its investigation of the fall 2000 events did not reflect legalistic introspection. Rather, it followed political hysteria, much like that which gave birth in the first place to the Or Commission of Inquiry. Now the fanatics who habitually incite Israeli Arabs will have good reason to believe their bullying tactics can prove them right where reason would prove them wrong.

The rest of us, at the same time, will have reason to suspect that the PID is staffed with spineless bureaucrats who have now failed to face up to the terror that most other Israelis have learned since October 2000 to confront.

(©) The Jerusalem Post]


Lebanon Is Not My Enemy

[MK Ahmed Tibi visits enemy nation in violation of Israeli law]


(Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2005) Arab MK Ahmed Tibi was questioned by police on Tuesday regarding the nature of two recent trips he made to Lebanon. Tibi was questioned for several hours by the police's International Serious Crimes Unit in Petah Tikva.

During the interrogation session, dozens of Israeli-Arab activists protested outside the police station in support of Tibi denouncing what they called "politically-motivated investigation." Tibi said he cooperated with the police officer's questions but only to a certain point.

"I confessed to traveling to Lebanon and admitted that I did not receive permission from Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz," he said. "But when they asked me who I met with I told them they should read George Orwell's book -- 1984. The officer said he read it and I told him to read it again."

Lebanon is considered an enemy state for Israel and Israeli citizens who wish to visit there need to receive permission first from the Interior Ministry. Tibi has visited Lebanon twice since the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February.

"Lebanon is not my enemy," the Arab MK said. "This is a politically-motivated investigation against me and my fellow Arab Knesset members." Claiming to having received two new invitations to visit Beirut, Tibi said he had yet to decide if he would accept them.

"Who wouldn't want to go to Beirut?" he asked. "I won't tell anyone now if I am going. Let's leave it as a surprise."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Not only does Lebanon continue to declare that it remains in an official state of war with Israel and to preach the virtues of Israel’s extermination, but it also continues to permit Hizbullah to fire rockets and launch other types of terror attacks against Israel from its territory.]



Bishara's blast

(Jerusalem Post, December 21, 2005) MK Azmi Bishara of Balad last week advised the Arab world to keep the embers of the Arab-Israeli conflict ever smoldering. He told Israelis he doesn't want their democracy, called Israel the product of modern history's "greatest daylight robbery" and insisted its citizenship is unwanted by this country's Arabs and was forced on them.

Last week he again traveled to an enemy state without permission -- this time to Lebanon, his second visit there this year. In a two-hour tirade at a book fair he gave Israel a no-holds-barred thrashing. Here are a few excerpts from Lebanese news agencies and Al-Safir newspaper:

* "Israel's is the 20th Century's greatest robbery, perpetrated in broad daylight."

* "I will never recognize Zionism, even if all Arabs do?  I will never concede Palestine. The battle will long continue."

* (Addressing Israelis directly:) "We Arabs aren't interested in your democracy. Give us Palestine and take your democracy with you."

* "The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians isn't demographic but national. It's not the problem of 1.2 million Arabs living in Israel. They are like all other Arabs, only with Israeli citizenship forced upon them."

* "This conflict is possibly endless? We must keep its members burning? Why do some Arab leaders declare readiness to recognize Israel as a state?  This is capitulation? Some Arabs may want to surrender, but they cannot force us to surrender with them. We shall go on fighting."

* "We are Palestine's original inhabitants, not Jews who came from Russia and Poland."

In his defense, Bishara noted, upon his return to Israel, "I didn't say anything new that I hadn't said in other places. I've spoken like that in the Knesset."

That's precisely the problem. What first fails to elicit a proper response will encourage further and greater impudence and disloyalty later. Israel's tolerance is repeatedly abused and with increasing insolence.

Bishara has long based his political appeal on thumbing his nose at the very state in whose legislature he serves and to which he pro forma owes allegiance.

Indeed Bishara appears to be constantly testing the limits of how far he can go in rejecting Israel's right to exist and encouraging its destruction without paying any price. Thus far he managed to continue with impunity to taunt the country he ostensibly swore to serve and whose taxpayers pay his salary.

The legal system only feebly and partially tackled Bishara's effrontery. In 2001, the Knesset House Committee lifted his immunity allowing for two indictments against him. In 2000, Bishara eulogized Hafez Assad at the Syrian president's Damascus funeral alongside Hizbullah chief Hassan Nassrallah. After profuse praises for Hizbullah, Bishara egged on "the struggle against Israel." He was also indicted for organizing illegal trips to Syria for Israeli Arabs.

So far Bishara beat all raps, claiming the right to freedom of expression.

In 2003, the High Court overturned a Central Election Committee decision to disqualify Balad from running for the 16th Knesset on the grounds that it supported the terrorist onslaught against Israel.

Perhaps it's time -- in view of Bishara's latest tongue-lashing against the state which, directly or not, finances his illegal junkets to enemy territory -- for this country's legislative and judicial branches to assert our democracy's right to defend itself.

Democracies have the notion of "protected speech." Implicit, however, in this notion is that not all speech is protected. Is it not at least worth examining whether Bishara, even if he is allowed to retain citizenship that he openly disdains, continues to serve in a body representing the state he so thoroughly rejects and desires to destroy?  Is there no limit to the abuse we as a nation will tolerate in the name of open-mindedness?

Perhaps this time, should his party credentials be again rejected, our highest court will see fit to uphold that decision.

Bishara the individual, of course, is not the only issue here. By not laying down the law, Israel signals its entire Arab sector that it demands not even a minimum of loyalty, that anything goes. A state which won't defend itself should not be surprised that Bishara's radicalized disciples heed his seditious exhortations.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Friday, December 30, 2005 - 11:20 AM (Syrian Arab News Agency -- SANA)

Palestinians In Occupied Lands Demonstrate Solidarity with Syria Nazarite town in the occupied Palestine

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara officiates at pro-Syria rally in Nazareth, Israel]

National committees to solidify with Syria on lands of 1948 [i.e. lands which comprise the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines] held a mass rally Thursday evening in the capital of Galilee, Nasarite [i.e., the Arab-populated town of Nazareth, Israel], occupied by Israel in 1948, with the participation of a delegation from Syrian citizens of Golan and various Palestinian activities. The festival, which started with the Syrian national anthem, underlined by banners and speeches support to Syria while facing pressures. 

Palestinian thinker Azmi Beshara said what Syria is exposed to has been planned since 1997 by the neo conservatives in the United States and was applied in latest years.  “The Palestinian People is solidifying with Syria of Arabism, civilization and identity because Arabism is our cause, and the U.S. is targeting Syria due to her national and pan-Arab positions,” Beshara said. He stressed that Syria and Lebanon have the same interests, and any siege to Syria will have long-effects on other Arab states, noting that solidarity with Syria means solidarity with the Arab identity and the just Arab issues showing confidence that the conspiracy on Syria will be unsuccessful.

For his part, Official spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the occupied lands Archbishop Abdullah Hanna showed deep solidarity with Syria asserting rejection of all conspiracies aimed at this original Arab country. He noted that what Syria is exposed to of pressures was due to her national and pan-Arab stances.  “This is because Syria is refusing to concede… our message from Jerusalem to Damascus says we are with you our folks in Syria,” the Archbishop said.  Member of the Palestinian martyrs committee Jasmila Aqel said our support to Syria and rallying around her was to confront the aggressive Israeli intentions and U.S. bids aimed at besieging her. 

Participants directed a memorandum to the UN Secretary General denouncing pressures and threats to Syria. Lawyer Majd Abou Saleh said in a word on behalf of Syrians the U.S. administration and her allies are in quest of rearranging the Middle East according to their interests that fully concord with Israel’s.  “Syria is targeted because she is the throbbing plus of Arabism and because she refused to concede an inch of her occupied lands as she provided all support to the Lebanese national resistance and the Arab right,” he said.   S. Younes.


Police, Shin Bet arrest spy for Iran

[“Israeli” Arab terrorist becomes a spy for Iran and joins the Meretz party in hopes of becoming a Member of the Knesset]

By Yaakov Katz

(Jerusalem Post, January 8, 2006) The Israel Police's Serious and International Crimes Unit together with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has arrested the former head of the Fasuta Local Council in the Upper Galilee suspected of spying on Israel for Iranian Intelligence, it was released for publication on Friday.

Jaris Jaris, 57, was arrested on December 12, after police discovered that he had been recruited by Iran and was asked to use his political contacts to infiltrate the government and the Israeli political system.

Jaris, police said, fled Israel in 1970 and moved to Lebanon after he was caught operating a Fatah terror cell. Once in Lebanon, Jaris continued working for the Fatah and was responsible for sending terrorists across the border into Israel. In 1996, Jaris returned to Israel together with additional officials from the Palestinian Authority and from May 2001 until November 2003 he served as the head of the Fasuta Local Council.

In September 2004, police said, Jaris traveled to Cyprus to meet with Hani Abdullah -- a friend he made in Lebanon -- to promote the establishment of a joint research center. Abdullah told Jaris that the center, if he wanted, could be funded by the Hizbullah and Iran. Jaris agreed.

Two months later, police said, Abdullah called Jaris and told him to come to Cyprus to meet an Iranian donor for the center. During his police interrogation, Jaris admitted that the man he met was from Iranian Intelligence. The agent asked Jaris to "infiltrate the Israeli political system, to create political contacts and to join an existing Israeli political party," police said.

Jaris joined Meretz towards the end of 2004, and in conversations with political activists expressed interest in becoming a member of Knesset. Three months later, Jaris visited Cyprus for a third time where he met with two Iranian agents who asked him about his past and his connections with politicians in Israel. Following the meeting, Jaris was asked to try and establish contacts with the top political echelon.

Police said that in 2005 the Shin Bet recognized a significant rise in the number of Iranian attempts to recruit Israeli citizens as spies. The defense establishment has dealt with a number of cases in recent years of Israeli-Arabs who were suspected of maintaining contacts with Iran Intelligence. Some of the Israelis worked in jobs, police said, that gained them access to sensitive information.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Perhaps the story of Jaris Jaris does not belong in this Compendium because he never actually became an “Israeli” Arab MK.  However, his story is nonetheless pertinent to the issues raised in this Compendium because it illustrates the extent to which Israel’s political system has welcomed those who unabashedly desire to destroy the Jewish State.  Jaris’ background as a terrorist -- both while residing in, and after fleeing, from Israel -- was well known.  Likewise, his 26-year residency in an enemy State was well known.  Yet, he was nevertheless permitted to join the Zionist -- albeit extreme leftist -- Meretz party, and to conduct serious discussions with party leaders concerning his future ascension to the Knesset.]


Tibi: Israel should not be a Jewish state

In interview with Ynet, Israeli-Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi says he believes Israel should not be a Jewish nation-state due to its 'Palestinian minority'

Ali Waked

(Yediot Achronot,, January 16, 2006) ‘Full citizenship in a state for all its nationalities’, states Knesset member Ahmad Tibi's new party slogan.

Tibi, who heads the Ta'al party list, will elect its candidates next week. The party is also expected to continue cooperation with the Hadash party.

Hundreds of posters have been put up to campaign for the Ta'al party list in Arab towns and villages, calling for equality for Arab citizens, with an emphasis on branding Israeli Arabs as Palestinians.

Tibi says the slogan is not directed against Israel.

"This has always been my political stance, and I also presented it during the current Knesset. We call on Israel to recognize and institutionalize the fact that it is a multi-cultural country and that we are a national minority. We should be recognized as such," he says.

Is this an additional stage in your opposition to Israel as a Jewish state, or a radicalization that has occurred during the elections?

"It's neither. I don't see how this is radical. This has always been our stance, and I can't be accused of being extreme simply by presenting it. We are saying that there is a natural and logical opposition between Israel as the state of the Jewish nation while more than one nation lives in Israel and more than one culture exists here."

"Israel has never been a nation-state. Israel is not only a state for the Jews and it can't say it is the state of one nation while being a democracy at the same time, when other nations live in it but are not counted."

Why bring up the issue of national minority now?

"Because being a national minority means partial justice, and we should get our part as a collective, not only individually. Our rights as a national group should be given to us, not just as private citizens. Therefore the focus is not only on the identity, but also on equality of rights."

You are again bringing up diplomatic issues and the Palestinian question, and you are not paying attention to the things that matter to Arab citizens of the State.

"The opposite is true and our slogan speaks for itself. We are talking about full citizenship and full civil participation, this means equality in all the services and sectors of life in this country. It also means there are special services and rights that must be awarded to the national minority, such as the Palestinian minority which is us -- the Arab citizens of Israel."

There is an impassioned tone in your comments. Doesn't Sharon's condition obligate your campaign to be more calm and less impassioned?

"I find it funny that we are talked about in connection with this impassioned tone. We are the main victim of impassioned tones and disinformation, there is nothing in our campaign and slogans which is overzealous and with all respect, the prime minister's health condition won't cause me to change my opinions or my stances."

"I just hope that the prime minister's condition is not exploited for an attack by his party and by the Zionist parties on the Arab public, which they see only as source of votes to be squeezed in the upcoming period."


High Court upholds [Arab MK] Bishara's immunity

By Orly Halpern

(Jerusalem Post, February 2, 2006) After five years of court battles over his controversial statements allegedly supporting terror organizations, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) finally ruled Wednesday in favor of MK Azmi Bishara, chairman of the Balad party, and stated that his parliamentary immunity prevents him from being put on trial for his statements. The court also ordered all related criminal proceedings against him to be dropped.

"This ruling says something about the High Court of Justice," Bishara told The Jerusalem Post as he walked out of the courtroom. "It shows it respects the freedom of expression and I hope that they will continue in the path of [Supreme Court President Aharon] Barak."

Meanwhile, Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has called on the police to open an investigation into Bishara's recent trip to Lebanon. "I am being politically hunted," Bishara responded.

Bishara was put on trial after former attorney general Elyakim Rubinstein called for a police investigation into two speeches he gave. At the first speech in [the “Israeli” Arab city of ] Umm el-Fahm in 2000, Bishara praised Hizbullah for successfully pushing the IDF out of southern Lebanon. The second speech was made almost a year later in Damascus at the oneyear memorial for former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. There, Bishara again praised the "Lebanese resistance" and said that "resistance" was a path that could be taken which lies between all-out-war and accepting Israeli conditions.

In 2001, a Jerusalem court charged Bishara with supporting terror organizations. He claimed that he could not be put on trial because his parliamentary immunity protected him from criminal charges and gave him the freedom of expression to make such statements. The court refused to accept Bishara's arguments and so he appealed to the High Court of Justice through Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. On Wednesday, Barak and Justice Eliezer Rivlin voted in favor of clearing Bishara while Justice Esther Hayut voted against.

Both Barak and Rivlin stated that parliamentary immunity to make statements -- even when they are controversial or criminal -- is necessary for effective political representation, participation in the public debate, and for the democratic process.

In his ruling, Barak wrote that his decision did not indicate that Bishara's statements were acceptable. "I started from the assumption that [Bishara's] statements violated a criminal prohibition against support for a terror organization. [Bishara's] statements are very hard, they grate terribly on the ears.
Nevertheless, I found that they were said within the framework of fulfilling his role as a member of Knesset. We need to protect and defend the ability of the members of Knesset to fulfill their positions without fear. This protection, called substantive immunity, represents a very high interest of the public … [and] is vital for the existence of Israeli democracy."

Rivlin noted that the difference between praising and supporting a terror organization and between supporting an armed struggle against Israel was already determined in the ruling concerning MK Ahmed Tibi.

"The distinction is not easy, but as long as there is a doubt -- it is better to "err"on the side of freedom of expression," wrote Rivlin.

Bishara left the courtroom shaking hands with Balad party members and friends who came to show their support. A group of nine Druze men dressed in their traditional long white robes and headdresses kissed him on both cheeks in the hall outside.

Although Bishara was pleased with the ruling, he was concerned with the original accusations. "There is a delegitimization of the political stance of the Palestinian Arabs that are citizens of Israel," he told The Post. "[Former MK] Dan Meridor said at the time that you can't put someone on trial for expressing their political opinions."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Analysis: Why the court ruled in favor of [Arab MK] Bishara

By Dan Izenberg

(Jerusalem Post, February 3, 2006)  The High Court of Justice was asked to determine whether MK Azmi Bishara's statements allegedly supporting terror organizations were made in the fulfillment of his duties as an MK and whether, even if they did, they did not violate the limits of "substantive immunity."

According to the law, an MK's immunity cannot be lifted if his actions, which may have broken the law, were conducted in the fulfillment of his legislative duties and as long as they did not exceed the boundaries of the immunity granted him. Thus, in the case of Bishara, if the speeches he made in Damascus and Umm el-Fahm were made in accordance with his duties as an MK and did not fall outside the boundaries of substantive immunity, the Knesset was not authorized to lift his immunity and his trial in the Nazareth Magistrate's Court must be terminated.

Supreme Court President Aharon Barak and Justice Eliezer Rivlin accepted Bishara's arguments while Justice Esther Hayut rejected them.

An amendment to the Knesset Members Immunity Law, Rights and Obligations states that if an MK expresses support for the armed struggle of a terrorist organization, his statements fall outside the boundaries of substantive immunity.

Barak, however, concluded that Bishara had expressed support for Hizbullah, but there was not enough evidence to prove that he had expressed support for its armed struggle against Israel.

The second question Barak addressed was whether or not Bishara's speeches should be considered part of his duties as an MK. If they were, and since his statements had not fallen outside the boundaries of substantive immunity, he would be protected from prosecution by that immunity. According to Barak, substantive immunity is granted to MKs, among other things, "to guarantee that they can faithfully discharge their responsibilities and represent their electorate by being able to give free and full expression to their views and opinions without fear." Allowing an MK to speak his mind freely may put him in danger of breaking the law if his political views go against those of the consensus. For example, the Anti-Terror Ordinance prohibits anyone from expressing praise, support or calls for help for a terrorist organization. But this law makes no mention of "armed struggle" on the part of the terrorist organization.

When it comes to MKs, however, substantive immunity allows MKs to enter the "danger zone" of breaking the law if in doing so they are fulfilling their legislative responsibilities. According to Barak, Bishara made his statements in the context of his work. Therefore, he is protected by substantive immunity and cannot be put on trial.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  I really don’t which decision brings more shame to Israel’s Supreme Court:  (1) its ruling that there is actually a legal distinction between expressing praise or support for a terrorist group which is dedicated to annihilating Israel’s Jews (which is apparently permissible) and expressing support for that group’s “armed struggle” against those same Jews (which is impermissable); or (2) its ruling that Arab MKs are actually fulfilling their legitimate legislative responsibilities to their “Israeli” Arab electorates when they utter praise and support for such terrorist groups.  Moreover, I believe that any sane person reviewing the conduct and utterances of MK Bishara in Umm al-Fahm and in Damascus would conclude that he did indeed express support for the “armed struggle” against the Jewish State.  For such a review, please see the Compendium items of June 8, 2000, June 11, 2001 and June 19, 2001.]


MKs square off over illegal Negev housing

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa tries to prevent Jewish MKs from investigating illegal Arab housing in Israel’s Negev region]

By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(Jerusalem Post, February 7, 2006) While their normal battleground may be the Knesset's plenum floor, a group of right-wing [Jewish] MKs took their fight to the field Sunday and nearly came to blows with Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa.

The group of National Union MKs had arrived in the Negev for a tour of unrecognized Beduin villages, which they believe should be dismantled before the government turns its attention to [allegedly] illegal [Jewish] outposts such as Amona [located in Samaria]. The MKs were in the midst of their tour when an argument broke out between them, Sanaa and several local Beduin men.

Each side claims that the other provoked the row, and eventually police were called in to separate the two groups.

"Sanaa just wanted to provoke us, to stir up trouble," said Barry Rosenburg, a spokesman for the National Union. "What's funny is that his house is built on unrecognized land; it is one of the homes we are contesting."

Sanaa could not be reached for comment by press time, but Hussein al-Rafiah, the head of the Negev's Local Council of Unrecognized Beduin Villages, witnessed the fight and claimed that it was the National Union MKs who instigated the argument.

"We did not go to Jerusalem, to their homes, and begin to insult them," said Rafiah. "They came to our homes, to our doorsteps, with rhetoric of hate. They told us we shouldn't be there. What would you do? We did not want to let them in to our homes."

Rafiah added that he has invited visiting MKs into his home in the past, but the National Union MKs' visit was politically motivated and staged to rouse support for their party ahead of the election.

"They came here to turn us into settlers, but we are not settlers," said Rafiah. "You cannot compare us to the settlers. They choose where they can live and we have no choice. We build here illegally because, where else are we going to go?"

The National Union, however, said that they were trying to draw public attention to the thousands of illegal buildings in the Negev. "The government says they are concerned with illegal construction," said Rosenburg. "Well, they have thousands of illegal buildings and Amona had nine. Which problem is more serious?"

Sliman Abu Zaed, who works as a coordinator at the Forum for Coexistence in the Negev, said more than half of the Beduin in the Negev, roughly 88,000 people, live in unrecognized [i.e., illegal] villages. He claimed the government had "nowhere else to put them."

"There are several official Beduin towns, but they are full; you cannot relocate 88,000 people there," said Abu Zaed. "These people don't have anywhere else to go, and they have no one from whom to get official permits."

Sunday's argument, said Abu Zaed, only increased tension over the issue. "We work towards better dialogue between communities in the Negev," he said. "What happened Sunday strengthens us further, because we look at the [National Union] MKs and say they are extreme, we are working against that sort of extremism."

Prior to the tour, MK Arye Eldad sent a letter to Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requesting that he investigate various complaints of intimidation by Beduin officials against Jewish communities in the Negev.

"The Beduin here tell the Israelis that if they don't want to get hurt, if they don't want their cars or homes burned down, they need to pay a certain 'fee,'" said Rosenburg. "It's like the mafia."

Rafiah said that Eldad's claims were ridiculous, and Abu Zaed argued that the majority of Beduin in the Negev were interested in peacefully coexisting with their neighbors.

"Those MKs came from the political extreme. At this stage there are elections in Israel and these type of extremist parties are trying to make their voices heard at the expense of the weaker sectors of Israeli society," said Abu Zaed.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Ostensibly, a-Sanaa and other Arab MKs demand that the population of 88,000 “Israeli” Arabs who have illegally built entire villages on State land be permitted to continue living there because of the great impracticality of relocating such a large group of people.  However, this explanation masks the true nature of the issue.  For, the political subtext of such a demand is that these Arab squatters should not have to pay for the lands upon which they build their houses because they, in concert with all “Israeli” and “Palestinian” Arabs, are already the true “owners” thereof.  This bedrock viewpoint, unwavering support for a Judenrein (cleansed of Jews) “Palestinian” state, and a large measure of hypocrisy, explains why these same Arab MKs wholeheartedly support the forced removal of the population of 450,000 Jews from Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem, despite the much greater impracticality of relocating this much larger group of people.]


Marzel, Ben-Gvir Sakhnin visit prevented

[Arab MK Muhammad Barakeh endorses the “right” of “Israeli” Arabs to prevent Rightist Jews from entering Arab-populated towns in Israel]

By Yigal Grayeff

(Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2006) Police have stopped far-right activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir from entering Sakhnin on Tuesday afternoon.

Ben-Gvir told Army Radio from a police checkpoint that he and Marzel would return to Sakhnin another time.

Hundreds of policemen had spread throughout Sakhnin and its environs earlier in anticipation of the visit. The two had planned to come to the city in order to prove that the government only acts against illegal Jewish construction [and ignores widespread illegal Arab construction in “Israeli” Arab towns such as Sakhnin], Army Radio reported.

Senior sources in the Arab sector said that they would not allow Ben-Gvir and Marzel to enter the city, which they view as a provocation.

MK Muhammad Barakeh said the townspeople have full right to protect themselves from far-right wingers.

Meanwhile, Ben-Gvir told the Shams Arab radio Tuesday morning that if they faced violence, they were armed and ready.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


A-Sanaa: Police attacked me during evacuation in Negev

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa makes false claims against the police and the government]

By Yigal Grayeff

(Jerusalem Post, February 9, 2006) Just a week after [Jewish]  right-wing National Union MK Effi Eitam said he was injured by the police at Amona [a Jewish community in Samaria, where police and soldiers forcibly destroyed all housing and removed all residents], United Arab List MK Taleb a-Sanaa has made similar accusations.

A-Sanaa said on Wednesday the police attacked him as he tried to prevent the evacuation of 2,500 dunams of land in Rahat, near Beersheba.

Early in the morning, officials from the Israel Lands Authority and dozens of police arrived to carry out the operation on agricultural land that the Authority says was being farmed illegally. The officials used tractors to destroy crops that the Beduin were cultivating.

A-Sanaa said he was hurt as he tried to prevent the eviction.

"I tried to use my body to stop them from working and the police hit me and pushed me to the ground," said a-Sanaa, although he added that he received no injuries.

However, a police spokeswoman denied the MK's version of events.

"Nobody touched him, nobody beat him up, and nobody was violent towards him. All of his statements to the press are false," she said.

"Taleb a-Sanaa ran almost one and a half kilometers and after he ran he simply sat down. He was tired. He rested, got up and continued to walk," she added.

A-Sanaa said that unlike in [Jewish] Amona, there were no protesters at the evacuation, although this was because the police prevented "hundreds" of demonstrators from entering the area.

He added that the underlying dispute was not about the illegal farming of land but about ownership.

"These people have documents to show that the land is theirs and it does not belong to the State of Israel," he said, adding that the Authority therefore doesn't have any jurisdiction over the land.

However, Lands Authority spokeswoman Ortal Tzabar refuted a-Sanaa's arguments.

"They just say this. They don't have any documents," she said. "In all the court cases that there have been about this until now, they have lost -- they are now afraid to go to court."

Last year the Lands Authority cleared 11,000 dunams [which equals 2,750 acres] of land, but reckons that the Beduin still illegally occupy 500,000 dunams [which equals 125,000 acres] in total. On Wednesday, the Authority's Yisrael Skop said it carried out the eviction for the benefit of the whole Beduin sector.

"The Beduin that illegally invaded this farm land hurt only their fellow law-abiding Beduin. They can rent the same land for the same purposes at NIS 2 [2 shekels, which equals 45 cents] a dunam," he said.

Although, like Eitam, a-Sanaa said he was attacked by the police, he said the eviction of the Beduin was "a totally different issue" from that of Amona.

"The Beduin are not settlers," a-Sanaa said. "This is their land and they have houses and cemeteries on it. With Amona, there was a decision from the High Court to evacuate the settlers...Here, there is no High Court decision and there is no order. If there was an order, we would respect it."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  The Jewish residents of Amona were not newcomers to that place; in fact, they had lived there for over 10 years before the government decided to destroy their small community.   Furthermore, although the residents also claimed to own the land upon which their houses stood, the issue of their ownership of the land was not deemed relevant to the issue of their legal right to build houses on the land.  Since the residents were not made parties to the eviction petition filed by the Leftist “Peace Now” organization against the government (which petition the government did not oppose), a court order entered against them despite their lack of meaningful participation in the court proceedings.  In light of MK a-Sanaa’s declaration that the Arabs own the State lands upon which they are illegally growing crops, his assurances that such Arab squatters would honor a contrary court ruling is hardly credible.  Moreover, as a-Sanaa well knows, the Israel Lands Authority possesses the legal authority to enforce its land ownership rights without first having to seek a confirmatory court order.]


Mr. Double Standard?

[Analysis of Israel’s Supreme Court decision that validated treasonous conduct by Arab MK Azmi Bishara]

By Evelyn Gordon

(Jerusalem Post, February 10, 2006) Anyone bewildered by last Wednesday's violence at Amona ought to read the High Court of Justice ruling on Azmi Bishara issued that same day. Most people undoubtedly consider violence immoral. But when no less an institution than the Supreme Court proclaims that advocating violence constitutes part of a Knesset member's legitimate duties, it is hardly surprising that a minority has become convinced that Israeli society condones and rewards it.

The ruling stemmed from Bishara's request that the Court cancel his 2001 indictment for supporting a terrorist organization, which was based on two speeches in which he extolled Hizbullah. Bishara argued that his remarks were protected by his substantive parliamentary immunity, which grants an MK absolute protection from prosecution for anything said or done "in the course of fulfilling his duties, or for the sake of fulfilling his duties, as a Knesset member."

Justices Aharon Barak, Eliezer Rivlin and Esther Hayut all agreed that this immunity is not unlimited; inter alia, it does not cover "support for armed struggle" against Israel. But Barak, backed by Rivlin (Hayut dissented), ruled that Bishara did not specifically laud "armed struggle"; he merely lauded a terrorist organization -- a lesser offense that may be covered by substantive immunity.

In principle, this distinction is reasonable: One could, for instance, praise Hamas's welfare activities without condoning its suicide bombings. But no ordinary reading of Bishara's speeches could possibly support Barak's conclusion in this case.

IN THE first speech, given in Umm el-Fahm, Bishara described Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 as follows: "Hizbullah has won, and for the first time since 1967 we have tasted the sweet taste of victory. Lebanon, the weakest of the Arab states, has presented a small model from which, if we examine it in depth, we can draw the conclusions necessary for success and victory. Hizbullah ensured that its guerrilla war would be well publicized, and each of its achievements greatly influenced the morale of the Israeli people, whose patience was slowly exhausted by the losses it absorbed from Hizbullah."

In this speech, Bishara explicitly praised Hizbullah's "guerrilla war" and the "losses" -- i.e. casualties -- it caused Israel; how that differs from praising "armed struggle" escapes me.

But even absent this explicit statement, is any adult Israeli so ignorant of how Hizbullah achieved its "victory" as to misunderstand the "model" that Bishara urged his listeners to follow? Given that Hizbullah never used any tactic except armed struggle, does Barak really think that Bishara was calling for peaceful negotiations?

THE SAME holds for the second speech, given in Syria, in which Bishara argued that since neither total war nor submission to Israeli dictates was acceptable, it was necessary to "expand the space" between these alternatives -- the space "that the victory of the Lebanese resistance successfully exploited."

Then, after warning that Israel was trying "to narrow this space," he concluded: "It will be impossible to continue with this third option, the option of 'resistance,' except by re-enlarging this space, so that people will be able to carry out struggle and resistance."

Once again, the reference to "the Lebanese resistance," which consisted solely of armed struggle, as the paradigmatic example of this "third option" makes it hard to interpret this as anything but a call for facilitating armed struggle against Israel. Does Barak truly think that Bishara might instead have been advocating civil disobedience?

Why Barak was "unconvinced" of Bishara's support for armed struggle remains a mystery, since he cited nothing in Bishara's words as having led him to this conclusion. Indeed, the only semi-explanation he offered for being "unconvinced" was that Bishara "has not been questioned about this in the trial courts." That is circular reasoning par excellence: We cannot prove that he supports armed struggle because he was never questioned in court, but he cannot be questioned in court because his immunity protects him unless we prove that he supports armed struggle.

HAVING NEVERTHELESS somehow concluded that Bishara did not support armed struggle, Barak proceeded to the next issue: whether, given this, his speeches enjoyed immunity. Although support for armed struggle never has immunity, mere support for a terrorist organization may or may not, depending on circumstances.

Here, too, Barak jumped through hoops to protect Bishara. For instance, he argued, Bishara's comments about Hizbullah were not "central parts" of either speech, and therefore deserved immunity. That may or may not be true of the Syria speech, but it is highly unconvincing regarding the Umm el-Fahm speech. Although the speech was given at a conference whose official subject was the 33rd anniversary of the Six Day War, in the invitations Bishara specified that the June 2000 conference would take place "in the atmosphere of the victory of the Lebanese resistance." And since invitations generally reflect an event's primary focus, the inclusion of Hizbullah's "resistance" on the invitation makes it hard to argue that Bishara deemed this a minor issue.

Even more outrageous was Barak's argument that Bishara's remarks deserved immunity because political speeches are among an MK's core duties. Speaking to constituents, as Bishara did in [the “Israeli’ Arab town of] Umm el-Fahm, is indeed an MK's duty. But it is hard to see how urging said constituents to learn from Hizbullah's "model" -- which consists exclusively of armed attacks against the very State to which all MKs pledge their allegiance -- really accords with anyone's "duties as an MK."

And the argument is even more far-fetched regarding the Syria speech. Under what conceivable definition of an MK's duties could they include traveling (illegally) to an enemy state, sharing a dais with wanted terrorists such as Ahmed Jibril and Hassan Nasrallah, praising said enemy state for having "constantly expanded" the "space" within which Hizbullah-style "resistance" flourishes, and urging it to continue its efforts in that direction?

In their ruling, Barak and Rivlin clearly eviscerated the law, which was written precisely to deny such statements immunity from prosecution. But by deeming advocacy of violence a legitimate parliamentary "duty," they have also made it much harder to explain to ordinary citizens why practicing violence is nevertheless unacceptable.

The writer, a veteran observer of the Israeli scene, is a weekly contributor.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Think Again: Different rules for different folks

[Further anaysis of Israel’s Supreme Court decision that validated treasonous conduct by Arab MK Azmi Bishara; and an explanation of the different legal standards used by Israel’s Supreme Court in determining acceptable Arab incitement and in determining acceptable Jewish incitement]

By Jonathan Rosenblum

(February 14, 2006) In ruling last week that MK Azmi Bishara's parliamentary immunity is broad enough to shield him from prosecution for speeches effusively praising Hizbullah (one of them delivered in Damascus), the Israeli Supreme Court reaffirmed a crucial aspect of its free-speech jurisprudence: free-speech protection for Arab citizens is absolute; only Jews may ever be found guilty of crimes involving speech.

The Court first implicitly enunciated this principle in 2001 in two cases decided the same day. In the first case, the Court overturned the conviction of Israeli Arab journalist Muhammad Jabarin under a statute forbidding "publicizing words of identification with or praise for acts of violence capable of causing death or injury to a person." Jabarin wrote how he found his identity and sense of self-worth when throwing Molotov cocktails.

Jabarin's celebration of throwing Molotov cocktails was clearly within the statutory language. So Justice Theodore Or, writing for the Court, rewrote the statute to refer only to praise for acts of violence by specific terrorist organizations. To justify his far-fetched reading of the statute, Or cited the principle that statutes impinging on free speech should be construed narrowly.

In a second decision the same day, the Court reversed its own previous acquittal of Binyamin Kahane of the crime of "arous[ing] strife and hatred between different groups of the population," a description arguably applicable to half the political speech in Israel.

Again Or wrote the decision of the Court. But he seemed oblivious to his own earlier opinion. He made no effort to limit the scope of the broad statutory language, despite its obvious chilling effect on the exercise of free speech. Indeed he gave an expansive reading of the statute in finding that Kahane was punishable for having called on the IDF to wipe out the "vipers' nest in [the Arab-populated town of] Umm el-Fahm."

Only the different ethnic identities of the two defendants can explain the shift in methodologies employed and opposite results reached by the Court.

LAST WEEK Court President Aharon Barak employed the methodology of the Jabarin case to spare Bishara from criminal prosecution. Justice Barak
assumed, in passing, that Bishara was guilty of the crime of supporting a terrorist organization. But, he wrote, Bishara's parliamentary immunity shielded him from prosecution for everything apart from explicit support for the armed struggle of terrorist organizations. A fine distinction indeed.

In any event, Bishara did extol terrorist acts, as well as their sponsors. In a speech in Umm el-Fahm, after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, he celebrated Hizbullah's "victory" and offered it as a model from which to draw the "necessary conclusions for success and victory."

And what were those lessons? That the morale of the people of Israel "cracked in light of the losses it absorbed from Hizbullah." Those losses were not caused by Hizbullah's rhetoric or social programs, but by its warfare against Israel.

In a speech in Damascus, on the first anniversary of the death of Hafez Assad,Bishara, flanked by Hizbullah leader Sheikh Nasrallah and heads of the most militant Palestinian terror organizations, lauded Hizbullah as a model of heroic Islamic resistance that should be expanded to end the Israeli occupation. That speech came long after Hizbullah had kidnapped and killed three Israeli soldiers, and launched hundreds of Katyushas at Israel. Yet Court President Barak found that Bishara's illegal trip to Damascus to praise Hizbullah as a model of emulation was within the legitimate scope of his
parliamentary duties.

IN TRUTH, the phenomenon of applying a different set of rules to speech by or about certain favored minorities or "disadvantaged" groups is by no means confined to the Israeli Supreme Court. It is pervasive throughout the West.

Today many Western European and American papers are full of solicitude for the sensitivities of Muslims offended by the publication of cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish paper. But some of those same papers praised a federal judge who ordered New York City not to withhold funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a Christian icon splattered with elephant dung.

To some extent the different responses are purely craven. In Jenin: Massacring the Truth, filmmaker Martin Himmel elicits from the head of the British Cartoon Society an explanation of why there are no cartoons of Jewish children killed in suicide bombings to parallel the prizewinning cartoon of a naked Ariel Sharon eating Palestinian babies: "Jews don't issue fatwas [of death] against journalists."

Secure that his academic freedom will protect his descent into Lamarckian genetics, Hamid Debashi, chairman of Columbia's Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures, is able to write: "Half a century of systematic maiming and murdering of another people has left... deep marks on the faces of Israeli Jews, the way they talk, walk, the way they greet each other... There is a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae..."

But imagine that a professor, even a tenured one, had written outrageously that inner city African Americans are characterized by distended earlobes from prolonged exposure to boom boxes and wide lips from eating too many watermelons. His career, and perhaps his life, would be over.

Last year, a University of Las Vegas economics professor was forced to forgo a pay increase and endure sensitivity training for observing that homosexuals, who tend to have few children, show lower rates of savings. Truth is no defense when feelings of certain groups are hurt.

Academic huckster Ward Churchill suggests that some of those killed on 9/11 were Eichmann-like technocrats and that millions more Americans might have to die to atone for the native Americans killed by white invaders. In his academic work, he claims that American settlers gave Indians blankets infected with smallpox, even though the mechanism by which smallpox is transmitted was not known for another hundred years. Yet despite his professional incompetence, false claim that he is an Indian, and contempt for American lives, his academic position is secure because he speaks on behalf of native Americans.

Meanwhile Harvard's tenured faculty tried to ride Harvard President Lawrence Summers out of town on a rail for suggesting that men and women might not be identical in every respect, though a considerable body of scientific research on innate differences between men and women supports thatsuggestion. Neither academic freedom nor freedom of speech served in Summers' defense once he had offended women.

Not just in Israel are neutral principles hard to come by.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Police question [Arab] MKs Bishara, a-Sanaa over trips to Syria and Lebanon

[Arab MK Azmi Bishara says to his Arab hosts: “Why do some Arab leaders declare readiness to recognize Israel as a state? This is capitulation.”]


(Jerusalem Post, February 15, 2006) Police at the International Serious Crimes Unit in Petah Tikva questioned [Arab] MKs Azmi Bishara and Taleb a-Sanaa on Monday about recent trips to Arab countries that are considered enemy states.

Attorney General Menahem Mazuz ordered the police to investigate the two after Balad MK Bishara went to Lebanon in December and United Arab
List MK a-Sanaa went to Syria in November, both without the necessary permission from the Interior Ministry.

Nine months before his latest trip, Bishara went to Lebanon to attend the funeral of slain Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, and Mazuz let this first trip go by on the grounds that it had been a bereavement visit. However, Mazuz warned Bishara at the time that it was against the law for MKs to visit enemy countries.

A spokesman for Bishara said the MK, who is also an author, went to Lebanon after being invited to a book fair. The police questioned him about the "dry facts" of the trip, such as when he went and whether he received permission for the trip, according to the spokesman. However, Bishara hadn't even requested permission, because he didn't believe he would have gotten it and that he shouldn't have to make the application in the first place, his spokesman said.

"The nub of our argument is that freedom of movement is essential when carrying out a job as an MK," the spokesman said. "It is impossible to limit this. The person who does limit this is the Interior Minister, who is a politician." The spokesman added that whoever wants to contact hostiles agents could do so anywhere, including in Israel, and not just in an enemy state.

"There is no suspicion that he was in contact with hostile agents. There is no security issue here at all," he said. "Syria and Lebanon, from our point of view, are not enemy states."

A-Sanaa said he requested permission for his trip to Syria after receiving an invitation from the country's parliament, but didn't
receive an answer from the Interior Ministry. He went anyway.

"I argued that I'm an MK chosen in order to promote peace. It's impossible to promote peace without visits, meetings and talks," he said. "For me, Syria is not an enemy state. It's an Arab country and I'm an Arab." While in the country, a-Sanaa met the heads of the parliament and the ruling Ba'ath party, but not President Bashar Al-Assad.

The investigation of Bishara is the latest in a series of probes over the last several years. Earlier this month, the High Court of Justice ruled that the MK's parliamentary immunity protected him from being put on trial for controversial statements allegedly supporting terror organizations. That decision ended a court battle that had lasted several years.

When Bishara was in Lebanon in December, the country's news agencies and its Al-Safir newspaper reported several anti-Israel statements Bishara uttered.

"This conflict is possibly endless. We must keep its embers burning. Why do some Arab leaders declare readiness to recognize Israel as a state? This is capitulation. Some Arabs may want to surrender, but they cannot force us to surrender with them. We shall go on fighting," he was reported as saying.

Bishara and a-Sanaa are not the only Arab MKs to have been investigated recently for visiting countries defined as enemy states. In June, Mazuz ordered police to investigate a trip to Lebanon by Hadash-Ta'al [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi, who was also let off with a warning for an earlier visit to the country. Tibi was questioned in September for several hours by the International Serious Crimes Unit.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


Israeli Arab party campaigns on Islamic fundamentalist ticket

[Arab MK Ahmed Tibi merges his political party with the southern faction of Israel’s Islamic Movement; the leader of this new “Israeli” Arab political party praises Hamas and calls for Israel’s destruction]

February 19, 2006, 4:42 PM (GMT+02:00)

The head of a unified Arab Israel list [known as the United Arab List] running for the Knesset on March 28, Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsour, declared his party’s platform aimed for an Islamic state headed by a Caliph to replace the Jewish State. Sarsour, who leads the southern section of Israel’s Muslim Movement, addressed a news conference in Nazareth Wednesday. He blasted the Danish cartoons caricaturing Muhammad as the work of a “hidden hand” intent on precipitating a clash of cultures. This hand, he said, came from the “White House gang,” as part of its campaign to mobilize the masses in the West for military action against Iran.

The would-be Knesset member voiced support for Hamas, which, he said, would “lead us to achievements, not disasters.”

The list is a merger between Sarsour’s Raam and Ahmed Tibi’s Taal. Ten Arab members (out of 120) served in the outgoing 16th Knesset.

Copyright 2000-2006 DEBKAfile. All Rights Reserved.


Arab MK takes offense to being called "darling"

[Arab MK Muhammad Barakei is questioned by police for having (allegedly) attacked security forces during a violent demonstration against Israel’s security fence]


(Jerusalem Post, February 27, 2006) Arab MK Muhammad Barakei walked out of a police interrogation on Sunday after accusing the police of rudeness, although the two sides dispute what the rudeness was about.

Barakei's spokesman, Barhoum Jaraisey, said the Hadash MK left the police station after being called "motek" - Hebrew for "darling" - and accused the officer of "lacking manners."

Judea and Samaria police spokesman Shlomi Sagi acknowledged that the officer used the term, but it was as a slip of the tongue when asking Barakei to speak more slowly so the investigator could write down what the MK was saying.

The officer immediately apologized and the interrogation continued until the police starting asking "incriminating" questions, at which point Barakei got up and left the station, said Sagi.

"If the officer wasn't polite, he wouldn't have apologized so quickly," he said. Police were investigating Barakei on suspicion that he attacked members of the Israel Prison Service's (IPS) elite Massada unit during demonstrations against the security fence by the Palestinian village of Bil'in near Nablus in April. The MK is also accused of disturbing the public order and refusing to leave a closed military zone, but has denied the charges, said Jaraisey.

This will be the last time Barakei will attend a police interrogation and if the authorities want to investigate him further it will have to be in court through an indictment, said Jaraisey.

"Barakei is prepared to give up his MK's immunity and he will bring evidence to show that it was he who was attacked," said Jaraisey, adding that Barakei was attacked by a soldier who threw a stun grenade at him and injured his leg. However, he didn't complain to the Police Investigative Department (PID) about the violence because he has no faith in the organization.

"The history of the PID with Arabs is very black," said Jaraisey. "The PID only protects the police and doesn't investigate them."

Barakei also found it "strange" that members of the IPS were policing a demonstration.

"Why did IPS forces need to be there unless they were carrying out exercises in attacking Palestinian prisoners, or the police want to turn the territories into a huge prison camp?" said Jaraisey.

The investigation was initially being carried out at Binyamin police station but was moved to Nazareth after Barakei refused to be questioned there.

"He didn't go to Binyamin because he said it's an occupying police force and didn't want to be investigated by such a force," said Jaraisey.

However, while the investigation has moved location, the investigating officers are still from Binyamin, said Sagi.

During the demonstration at Bil'in, an Associated Press photographer was also lightly wounded when a stun grenade hit his head, while 12 other demonstrators were lightly hurt as well.

Israelis who participated in the demonstration said there were at least 1,000 protesters, although the police and army said the number was closer to 250.

Protesters said that security forces used unnecessary force to disperse them and that they had film footage to prove it. However, the army said demonstrators threw stones and tried to shove soldiers and policemen.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


'All I want is my children back'

[Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Abdelmalik Dehamshe hold Israel responsible for unbalanced Jew’s firecracker “assault” on Basilica of the Annunciation]


(Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2006) An Israeli man who caused a riot in Nazareth on Friday evening by throwing firecrackers into the Basilica of the Annunciation visited Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in 1999 to request political asylum.

Police said on Saturday that Haim Eliyahu Havivi carried out the attack during a packed Lent prayer service at one of the holiest sites in Christianity because he wanted to draw attention to his economic distress.

The riot that took place after the attack left 17 policemen and 10 protesters injured, as police who arrived at the scene to protect the family were confronted by stone throwers. The angry mob also torched several police vehicles.

Havivi, a 44-year-old Jewish resident of Jerusalem, carried out the attack in the presence of his 40-year-old Christian wife, Violet, and their 20-year-old daughter, Odelia, although it was unclear if the two women participated, a spokeswoman said. All three were taken to Tiberias Magistrate's Court on Saturday night and remanded in custody for 15 days.

"I have nothing against Christians or Muslims," a lightly wounded Havivi said at the hearing. "All I want is my children who were taken away from me by the state."

Welfare authorities had placed two of his younger children into foster care. According to police, he may have had a history of mental illness.

"It's nothing to do with him being right-wing or left-wing," a police spokesman said. "We know from the initial investigation that he has financial problems and we are looking at whether he has psychological problems."

Police said it was unclear why Havivi had sought refuge in the Palestinian Authority, but Palestinian reports claimed he wanted to settle in the territories with his Christian wife and their four children. In any case, his request for asylum was rejected by the PA.

Friday's incident started at 5:30 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m., resulting in slight damage to the church, police said.

Hundreds of policemen were rushed to Nazareth to contain the rioting. Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra and police chief Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi also arrived at the scene.

Karadi ordered increased security at holy sites around the country while Ezra praised the police for "their great restraint and sensitivity in difficult conditions."

On Saturday, 13,500 people marched the streets of Nazareth to protest the attack, carrying signs that said "Death to the Jews" and that Christians should keep away from the area, police said.

Security forces were absent from the rally, which lasted about an hour and a half, in order not to aggravate the situation, and it ended peacefully. In addition, nine football matches in the Galilee were postponed so that police could concentrate on keeping the peace in the vicinity of Nazareth. The police don't expect further demonstrations on Sunday, a spokeswoman said.

President Moshe Katsav spoke with Christian leaders Saturday night, condemning the incident and saying it should not harm relations among the country's citizens, his office said. He also reaffirmed Israel's commitment to protect Christian and Muslim holy sites.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called her counterpart in the Vatican on Friday evening, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, and assured him that Israel was dealing with the incident and that it would do everything to protect the holy sites.

According to Livni's office, Lajolo expressed his appreciation of how Israel had dealt with the incident, and said he would inform the pope of the developments.

Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas called the attack the result of "the culture of hate that the State of Israel instills in its citizens against the Palestinians, and religious places belonging to Islam and Christianity."

Nazareth, a city with a mixed Muslim-Christian population, has seen tension in the past between the two groups. But upon discovering that Muslims were not responsible for the attack, Muslims and Christians joined together in the protest march on Saturday.

After convening Saturday afternoon in Nazareth to discuss Friday evening's attack, members of the Higher Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee, made up of Arab MKs, Christian and Muslim religious leaders and other Arab community leaders, called on the Israeli government to "take full responsibility for the incident in the Church of the Annunciation, and to deal with forces considering attacks on holy sites, forces that developed against a backdrop of hatred and defiance toward the Arab public."

"We object to the forgiving attitude that the Israeli system has toward all the [Jewish] inciters," Nazareth Mayor Ramzeh Jaraiseh told The Jerusalem Post. "Look at all the calls for transfer [of Arabs outside the country]. As long as the swamp of racism exists, frogs grow in it. The swamp must be dried out. And it's possible to do that."

Regarding Havivi, MK Ahmed Tibi of the UAL-Taal list said: "I understand that this man has a personal problem. But why bring it up by burning a mosque or blowing up a church? The reason is the anti-Arab atmosphere in Israel."

MK Abdul Malik Dehamshe of the Islamic Movement told the Post that it had become acceptable to attack Arabs and their holy sites in Israel.
"The State of Israel raises its Jewish citizens on hatred of Muslims and the religious sites of both Muslims and Christians," he said. "The Muslims and Christians are not [considered] equal to the Jewish citizens. You can kill them and destroy their holy sites. It's not a crime. It's easy. It's a culture of hatred. It's Arabs, it's no big deal."

Dehamshe was thankful that the attackers were caught. "They were trapped in the church so they could not run away," he said. "If they hadn't caught them, it would have developed into ethnic conflict between Christians and Muslims. Now instead of creating rivalry between Muslims and Christians, it caused unity."

Committee chairman Shawki Khatib said the Jewish people should realize that the Israeli Arabs want to live with them as equals. "The strategic decision of the [Arab] people is to live with the Jews. But the government and the Jewish sector have not accepted this. Our ability to endure is running out," said Khatib. "We warn the leaders of the state against another attempt at harming the Arab public."

Herb Keinon and AP contributed to this report.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  A deranged Jew, accompanied by his Christian wife and daughter, ignites firecrackers inside an important church that causes no discernable damage to person or property.  In response, an “Israeli” Arab mob attempts to lynch him and his family while the police try to restore order without harming the mob.  Although the offending family is therafter arrested by the police, the “peaceful” Arab citizens of Nazareth and surrounding villages, in collaboration with the Higher Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee (which comprises the Arab elites of Israel, including Arab MKs), decide to hold a rally calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people.  Meanwhile, Israel is busy assuring the World that it will do its utmost to safeguard the shrines of other religions.  In light of all of the forgoing, MKs Tibi and Dehamshe, both of whom constantly incite their constituencies against the Jewish State, fulminate that it is the Jews who are being indoctrinated to hate the Arabs.]


Arab MK [Issam Mahoul] calls Lieberman a 'fascist'

By Orly Halpern

(Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2006) Pointing to the existence of political parties that support the idea of transferring Arab Israeli citizens to a Palestinian state, MK Issam Mahoul charged Tuesday that Israeli democracy is in danger, and called MK Avigdor Lieberman of Israel Beiteinu a "fascist."

"Lieberman wants to transfer Um al-Fahm citizens of the State of Israel outside of the country. My question is:  How does Israeli democracy have a place for such a racist program?" he said. A member of Hadash, a Jewish-Arab political movement with three seats in the last Knesset, Mahoul added that "if [Lieberman] doesn't feel comfortable with the Arab population in Israel and their influence on the state, then he can go back to Russia where he came from."

Mahoul made the comments as a member of a panel speaking at a conference titled "Will the Arab Vote Count in the 2006 Elections?" The conference was held at the Guest House of the St. Andrews Scottish Church in Jerusalem.

The biggest challenge facing Arab parties is to get their sector to vote, according to recent polls, but conference panelists said their second most important challenge is to get Arabs to vote for Arab parties and not for those dominated by Jewish candidates and issues.

"The more Jews who vote, the more it will hurt the Arabs in the election," said Dr. Elie Rekhess, a senior research fellow at the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University and director of the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab cooperation. He added that Arab voters would have to vote in large numbers if they wanted to have any influence in their state. This is even more important with the threshold to enter the Knesset increased from 1.5 percent to 2%.

"Now the ruling parties are trying to get back the Arab vote, so there is a confrontation between them and the Arab parties," said Mahoul, who is also a member of Israel's Communist Party.

He said the problem was not the Arab voter but racism and Israeli democracy.

"The real problem of these elections is a racist problem. We did not immigrate here. And we will not move from here. The State of Israel was imposed upon us in a series of historical events. We accepted this fact. But we will not accept the legitimacy of the discussion of transfer every time a fascist wants a headline in a newspaper."

Claiming that Israel's democracy was in danger, Mahoul said, "I suggest to you not to take it for granted. It should be questioned daily."

Arab voters were frustrated with the lack of influence of the Arab parties which are marginalized and never invited to join coalitions, said the panelists.

Abir Kopty, another panelist, expressed disappointment that the Arab parties did not slot a woman in a realistic place, while the Labor Party did. "Nadia Hilu is a member of a Zionist party and I speak for myself and many other women: She does not represent us [because] she belongs to a party that ignores the Arab citizens and she will be obligated to vote against Arab interests," said Kopty, a spokeswoman for Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel.

Nevertheless, said Kopty, Hilu's realistic slot "now challenges the Arab parties to do the same in the future."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  “We did not immigrate here.”  False -- “Israeli” Arabs are not aboriginal residents of the Land of Israel.  On the contrary, they are part of a long chain of successful invaders from the Babylonian Empire to the Ottoman Empire that have conquered and inhabited the Land of Israel over the past two and a half millennia.   Specifically, they are the surviving remnant of the great Islamic Arab invasion that engulfed the Middle East, Asia, northern Africa and southern Europe commencing in the 7th Century;  but they began to enter the Land of Israel in large numbers only in response to the economic opportunities created in the wake of large scale Jewish immigration thereto under the British-administered Mandate for Palestine in the early 20th Century. “The State of Israel was imposed upon us in a series of historical events.”  True -- “Israeli” Arabs became legal residents and voting citizens of the State of Israel via the happenstance of finding themselves on the Jewish-controlled side of Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines.  Moreover, MK Lieberman did not propose that any “Israeli” Arabs be transfered from their homes.  Rather, he proposed that they become citizens of a future “Palestinian” state (to be created from the Arab-populated portions of Judea and Samaria) via a land exchange -- but not a population exchange -- based upon two basic considerations:  (1) Arab and Jewish demographics, and (2) overt “Israeli” Arab hostility towards the Jewish State. The Arab-populated city of Um al-Fahm and its environs are strongholds of the northern faction of Israel’s Islamic Movement, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and actively supports the Jewish State’s destruction by its Arab and (non-Arab) Muslim enemies.  Consequently, MK Lieberman suggested that the Jewish State deal with this existential threat and simultaneously improve its Jewish demographics by withdrawing its sovereignty from these Arab-populated portions of pre-1967 Israel in exchange for retaining its sovereignty over certain Jewish-populated portions of post-1967 Israel.  Of course, his plan ignores that fact that facilitating the expansion of the northwestern border of a future “Palestinian” state and militarizing greater Um al-Fahm’s hostile Arab population will only exacerbate the terroristic threat to Israel’s nearby Jewish population centers.]


Knesset to reject UAL expulsion petition

[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa, after being selected to serve on the sensitive Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, joins Arab MKs Ibrahim Sarsour and Abbas Zakour in meeting with an official of the Hamas terror group]

(Jerusalem Post, April 19, 2006) Contrary to initial reports, the Knesset was set Thursday to reject the petition of NRP-NU MK Effi Eitam who called for UAL MK Taleb a-Sanaa to be expelled from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Senior Knesset members cited the reason that the Knesset's Appointments Committee had already approved the selection which could therefore not be overturned, Israel Radio reported.

The petition followed the decision by United Arab List members to meet with a Hamas parliamentarian in east Jerusalem on Wednesday [just 2 days after a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which was lauded by the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority].

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called the meeting an "official representation of terror in the Knesset."

Livni went on to explain that Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed the revocation of Hamas PLC members' Jerusalem residency because "the right to be in PA parliament does not include the right to be a member of a Palestinian terror organization." Livni said that the Interior Ministry has the right to revoke the residency of whoever is deemed disloyal to Israel.

Likud MK Limor Livnat echoed the calls of Eitam. "Whoever meets two days after an atrocious act of murder with officials who do not recognize Israel's existence cannot be a part of a committee which is entrusted with Israel's security," Livnat asserted.

Haim Ramon, chairman of the Knesset Appointments Committee, said on Thursday that he intended to accept MK Effi Eitam's appeal, demanding to revoke MK Taleb a-Sanaa's membership in the committee.

In an interview with Army Radio, Ramon said he viewed the meeting with Palestinian MPs as very severe, and that measures should be taken against UAL, claiming that "Every Israeli citizen, whether Jew or Arab, meeting with a representative of a terror organization, is performing a grave deed and in my opinion it is against the law, especially when he is a member of Knesset."

Meretz Youth Chairman Uri Zacki, stated on Thursday that the manner in which Haim Ramon decided against the participation of the largest Arab party in the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, proved that the patronizing attitude towards the Arab minority in Israel does not only characterize the extreme Right.

Zacki called upon Kadima MK Shimon Peres to reverse the decision and enable the representation of Arab-Israelis in all government institutions.

Zacki told the The Jerusalem Post that he found Ramon's decision had a hint of racism.

Taleb a-Sanaa, who on Monday became the first Arab MK to be appointed to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said the visit he and MKs Ibrahim Sarsour and Abbas Zakour made to the east Jerusalem home of PLC member Muhammad Abu Teir served the national interest.

"We fulfilled our obligations to promote peace and end the cycle of violence cycle," a-Sanaa said. "We deserve a medal of honor. We don't think we should sit on the sidelines while people from both sides are losing their lives."

But MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called the visit "inappropriate." "I think it is wrong that somebody that is not entirely committed to Israel's security and to its military superiority should be a member of the committee," Steinitz said.

NU-NRP chairman MK Zevulun Orlev said that the MKs who visited Abu Teir were "Trojan horses" in the Knesset and that "their immunity as MKs should be revoked and they should be brought to trial."

Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines also blasted the three, saying their act was "unforgivable." "It would have been prudent if the MKs could have learned from [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, whose harsh response to the terror attack was stern and appropriate," he said. He also called on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to convene to discuss the "serious issue."

A Likud spokesman responded to the meeting by saying that the Cental Elections Committee erred in its decision not to accept a Likud petition calling for the United Arab List-Ta'al faction to be disallowed from running for the 17th Knesset.

"Its disqualification was required due to the close relationship between Hamas and the faction," he said the spokesman.

A-Sanaa said his visit was also to protest the cabinet decision to revoke the Jerusalem ID cards of four Hamas PLC members, including Abu Teir.

"We see this as a wrong decision," a-Sanaa said. "This ID was not given to them by grace. They are residents [of Jerusalem] because they live there and were born there. They are Jerusalemites from before the 1967 war."

The cabinet decision followed Monday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The government lashed out at the PA for not condemning the bombing.

Revoking the IDs of the Hamas legislators will severely restrict their movement. In the case of Abu Teir, whose home is close to west Jerusalem, it may mean that he cannot stay in his house because if he were caught without a Jerusalem ID he could be jailed as an illegal resident.

A-Sanaa said that the decision was political and not based on any crime they committed.

"They are being punished because of their political views," he said. "This is against international law and the Oslo Accords."

A-Sanaa may not serve much longer on the Knesset committee. His assignment is temporary and will be reexamined once the government is formed. Steinitz opposed his presence, due to the nature of the sensitive material examined by the MKs.

"I was surprised when he was appointed to the committee... his position there will need to be reevaluated for the permanent committee," he said, adding that since a-Sanaa's party garnered less than the six seat minimum required to be part of the committee, it would be within the committee's right to remove him from the permanent committee.

"I do not envy the next committee chairman if he needs to negotiate having a-Sanaa on the committee," Steinitz said.

A-Sanaa said that the MKs came to Abu Teir with a three-point intiative: an immediate cease-fire, reciprocal recognition and a return to negotiations.

"The new Palestinian government is against the Israeli occupation," he said, "but if Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to exist in the pre-'67 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, I believe they can make peace and end the bloodshed."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is the most security sensitive committee in the Knesset, charged with general supervision over the Israel Defense Forces as well as Israel’s internal and external intelligence agencies.  Consequently, permitting an Arab MK who seeks to legitimize Hamas (especially just a few days after a horrific Hamas-supported suicide bombing in Tel Aviv) to serve on such a committee -- let alone to sit in the Knesset itself -- is just plain stupid.  Jerusalem identity cards are given by Israel to Arab Jerusalemites who are not Israeli citizens in order to permit them, inter alia, to obtain government-provided social service benefits, such as welfare payments, unemployment compensation and free healthcare, and to travel anywhere in Israel without impediment. Consequently, such identity cards are not an entitlement, but rather a privilege that, inter alia, may allow hostile "Palestinian" Arabs free access to Jewish population centers in order to perpetrate or facilitate terror attacks.  Consequently, allowing members of the Hamas terror group to obtain or retain such identity cards and/or permitting them to obtain or retain residence in Jerusalem, as demanded by Arab MKs, is beyond moral comprehension.]


Lieberman calls Arab MKs who meet with Hamas 'collaborators' Staff

(Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2006) Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman called for the execution of any Arab MKs who meet with representatives of the Palestinian Authority's Hamas-led government during a speech delivered to the Knesset plenum on Thursday.

"World War II ended with the Nurenberg trials," Lieberman said. "The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in [the Knesset]."

In response, United Arab List Chairman Ibrahim Sarsour submitted a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee following the comments. MK Ahmad Tibi (UAL) called the statement "a call for the murder of the Arab MKs."

Hadash Chairman Muhammad Barakei said that Lieberman has proven once again that fascism was the final province of the lowlife. "If someone should be put on trial," Barakei said, "it should be mafiosos such as him."

Lieberman also claimed that Israel Beiteinu had demanded in coalition negotiations "that it be written in the government's guidelines that all the inciters and terror collaborators sitting in the Knesset will be punished. Justice should be served to those who continue meeting with Hamas and Hizbullah."

Over the past month, various Arab MKs have met with Hamas parliamentarians. Among other things, they spoke against the government's decision to rescind Hamas parliamentarians' residency rights in Israeli territory, including Jerusalem, following the April 17 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv's old central bus station.

The first to meet with Hamas parliamentarians in early April were UAL-Ta'al MKs, including the faction's representative on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Taleb A-Sanaa. Another meeting took place in east Jerusalem between Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Wasal Taha with Palestinian Authority minister Mahmoud Abu-Teir. The third meeting took place in late April in Qatar between Balad Chairman Azmi Bishara and Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud A-Zahar.

In response to the Arab MKs' complaints, Israel Beiteinu MK Estherina Tartman defended Lieberman's comments, saying that "Lieberman didn't speak of Arabs or Muslims, but all collaborators. There is nothing strange about this statement. When you have enemies who seek to destroy the state, you have to deal with them, whatever their ethnicity or religion."

The Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel released a statement saying, "A man who compares the Arab MKs to the Nazis is apparently an ignoramus who doesn't know what the Nazis did to his own people. Such a man is an embarrassment to the Jewish nation."

Labor MK Eitan Cabel echoed the criticism of Lieberman's comments, saying, "His perspective is racist. I will do everything I can to make sure he isn't in the next government."

(©) The Jerusalem Post

[Note:  Although MK Lieberman actually compared Arab MKs who meet with and defend the leaders of Hamas, not to Nazis, but rather to Nazi collaborators, this essentially constitutes a distinction without a meaningful difference.  In truth, both those who directly act and those who indirectly act to annihilate the Jewish people are, in fact, modern-day Nazis.]


Arab MKs furious about [Israeli Defense Minister] Peretz's [preemptive and/or retaliatory] response to Gaza violence


[Arab MKs call Israel's Defense Minister a "child murderer", and claim that Israel benefits from the "Palestinian" Arab rocket bombardment of nearby Jewish towns]


By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2006) MK Taleb a-Sanaa led the charge of Arab MKs who lashed out at Defense Minister Amir Peretz Wednesday for his handling of the recent violence in the Gaza Strip.

Six of the nine Arab MKs in the Knesset issued statements lambasting the defense minister's policies and calling for his resignation. Many of the MKs echoed the sentiments of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that the ongoing Kassam rocket attacks were in Israel's interests, because they prevented bilateral talks and progress in the peace process.

"Israel is not interested in quiet. They are not interested in partners for peace. I offered to be an envoy to the Palestinian people and I was not allowed," said a-Sanaa.

On Wednesday morning, a-Sanaa said he issued a request to travel to the Gaza Strip and meet with PA [Hamas] Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other PA [Hamas] officials, in order to convince Palestinian terrorist groups to stop launching rockets at Israel. A-Sanaa said he received a verbal reply from Peretz indicating that it was "not secure" for the MK to travel to Gaza.

"How could he tell me it's not secure? There are children dying in Gaza, Kassams in Sderot, and he tells me I won't be safe? Nobody is safe," said a-Sanaa.

The Defense Ministry refused to comment on a-Sanaa's allegations, but said they were "looking into the matter. A-Sanaa said he would continue petitioning the Defense Ministry to allow him to travel.

Meanwhile, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) accused Peretz of "building his political career on the bodies of Palestinian children" and MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) likened Peretz to a "child murderer."  "The defense of Sderot will not come from widening the circle of blood in Gaza and from murdering children," Barakeh said.

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) made similar comments when he told the Knesset that "killing children has become the norm of every Israeli attack."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Since Israel's expulsion of 8,500 Jews from their homes in Gaza in August 2005, thereby rendering that territory completely Judenrein (cleansed of Jews), the "Palestinian" Arabs of Gaza have nonetheless bombarded Sderot and other nearby Jewish communities (including densely-populated Ashkelon) with over 500 locally-manufactured Kassam missiles, causing death (including of children), mayhem, property damage and general panic among their civilian populations (these being in addition to the more than 5,500 Kassams that were fired into Jewish population centers before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza).  Eventually, most of the missiles fired at Sderot began to be launched from the densely-populated Gaza town of Beit Hanun upon the theory that its civilian population would provide a protective shield against massive preemption and/or retaliation from Israel.  After a period of indecision, during which the Mayor and the citizens of Sderot demanded an end to the rocket bombardment of their town, Israel finally began to target the perpetrators of these terror attrocities from the air (in order to avoid the numerous Arab civilian casualties which would result from a ground incursion into Beit Hanun).  Inevitably, during these operations, Israel has nonetheless unintentionally killed Arab bystanders (including children) in the vicinity of the targeted terrorists.  It is interesting that before Israel began attacking the terrorists operating from the presumed safety of Beit Hanun, no Arab MK ever voiced any concern about the murdered children of Sderot or expressed any condemnation of their murderers;  and no Arab MK ever offered to travel to Gaza in order to convince the terrorists to cease murdering and attempting to murder Jewish children.  In fact, despite Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza, these Arab MKs have habitually justified all post-withdrawals attacks against Israel’s Jewish population centers emanating from Gaza as legitimate resistance to Israeli "oppression".  Now that the children of Beit Hanun are also among the dead, Arab MKs have suddenly found their "moral" voice -- but only to condemn Israel for defending itself against the unending war being waged against its civilian population centers].



Arab MKs fume at terror support bill


[Arab MKs believe that their parliamentary status grants them the right to identify with and support terrorist organizations]


By Sheera Claire Frenkel


(Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2006) A new bill that would suspend Knesset members who support or identify with terror organizations was given a push forward by the Knesset House Committee Tuesday, sparking outrage among Arab MKs.


The committee decided that it would expedite the legislation proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev (National Union-National Religious Party) and have a preliminary reading and vote on the bill as early as next week. With less than three weeks left until the Knesset goes to recess, there are hundreds of bills awaiting a first reading in the plenum.


"During this difficult time, when the IDF is struggling to fight against terror, there are Arab MKs clearly supporting and encouraging terror organizations such as Hamas," said Orlev. "Whoever wants to support these organizations can go join the Palestinian Authority's parliament -- now is their chance because the PA is missing a few parliament members right now [due to Israel’s arrest of 20 Hamas members of the Palestinian Authority parliament in response to the murder of two Israeli soldiers and the abduction of another, 19 year old Gilad Shalit, last month by Hamas terrorists as well as the incessant rocket fire emanating from Gaza before and after Israel’s complete withdrawal therefrom in August 2005]."


According to the bill, the Knesset House Committee -- with the approval of the Supreme Court -- could cancel the membership of any MK who "identified" with a terror organization.


Arab MKs expressed outrage at the bill, labeling it a "blatant racist action" by the Knesset.


"This is not rational legislature, it is simply a grab for cheap headlines by right-wing MKs," said MK Azmi Bishara. "It is a severe blow to democracy."


MK Muhammad Barakeh (Hadash) added that the law was designed to "persecute" Arab MKs.


Orlev's bill was proposed following a series of meetings that have taken place between Arab MKs and Hamas parliamentarians since the start of the 17th Knesset.


A Knesset legal aide said that if the Knesset passes the law, there could be grounds to challenge it in the Supreme Court.


(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  No additional commentary is necessary.]



Former Arab MK defends suicide bombings [and rocket attacks against Jewish towns and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers]


Former Arab MK Dehamshe justifies use of Qassam rockets against Israel as means of self-defense, says suicide bombings keep Palestinian issue alive


By:  Roee Nahmias


(Ynet News, July 8, 2006) Former Israeli-Arab Knesset Member Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List) said he supports the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. Dehamshe told the Israel-Arab newspaper Kul al-Arab that "it seems Israel only learns the hard way. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be up to his ears if he doesn't learn from the mistakes of the past."


Dehamshe, who had served more than five years in Israeli prisons in the past, said that as long as Israel stays defiant in its refusal to negotiate over kidnapped [Israeli] soldier Gilad Shalit, "it will get more and more into trouble, especially when a deal can open the door for a renewal of the diplomatic process."


The former MK claimed that Hamas will treat Shalit in a humane manner "in keeping with the Islamic traditions that existed hundreds of years before the Geneva Convention," and stressed that the Hamas action during which the soldier was kidnapped is "legitimate and respected."


Kidnapping 'legitimate and respected'


In the interview, Dehamshe justified the use the Palestinians were making of Qassam rockets and said that these attacks created psychological pressure and a 'strategic tie' between both sides. "Why should Israel have the right to attack Gaza with planes and missiles that hurt the bodies of women and children and deprive the Palestinians of the right to defend themselves?"


"The Palestinians have no other weapons but these rockets and the suicide bombings," he stated. Dehamshe rejected the claim that the use of suicide bombings had failed, saying that "if it wasn't for the suicide bombings -- the Palestinian issue would be dead by now."



Arab MK defends kidnapping statements


[Arab MK Wasal Taha encourages “Palestinian” Arabs to kidnap more Israeli soldiers]


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST, July 9, 2006



After being accused of treason by various Knesset members over statements in which he allegedly encouraged Palestinians to kidnap IDF soldiers, MK Wasal Taha (Balad) responded in an interview with Israel Radio on Sunday that journalists had apparently mistranslated his words.


Earlier Sunday, NRG reported that Taha had told Palestinian internet users in an an online chat room that "attacking civilians is a tame option. The other possibility is the military option, where a resistance military unit is established to infiltrate army camps, confront soldiers, fight with them, and take the soldiers and the occupation captive."


Reading statements that he had made on Islam Online, Taha claimed that he had actually said that "the continuous acts of murder and targeted killings in Gaza" had "left the Palestinians two alternatives":  either attack civilians by blowing up buses, or direct their efforts toward the army.


"They chose the harder method of [fighting with] IDF soldiers, and during these efforts, they captured Gilad Shalit," said Taha.


When asked if he considered kidnapping soldiers legitimate, he replied, "The occupation is not legitimate, according to international law."


"I think that any resistance to occupation is legitimate," he said.


Other MKs expressed outrage over Taha's encouragement of kidnapping IDF soldiers.


MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) said Taha's statements showed "a serious breach of faith toward the State of Israel," and spoke to Interior Minister Roni Bar-On about the possibility of revoking Taha's citizenship.


Meretz MK Ran Cohen called Taha's calls for a "military approach" immoral and inflammatory. "Taha's identification with the Palestinian people cannot justify calls for violence and kidnapping soldiers," he said.


MK Zevulun Orlev of NU/NRP, who had proposed a law to revoke the citizenship of MKs who endorse or identify with terror organizations, declared that "the treacherous words of MK Taha prove that Trojan horses have infiltrated the Israeli Knesset, and democracy must defend itself from them. Taha is proud of cooperating with the enemy and testifies that the kidnappers' instructions did not come only from Khaled Mashaal in Syria."


Israel Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman reacted to Taha's statements by saying that "unfortunately, most Arab MKs effectively serve as the diplomatic wing of terror organizations in the Israeli Knesset. This is a badge of shame for the Knesset and the country's justice system."


MK Alex Miller, also of Israel Beiteinu, said Israel must "bring to strictest justice anyone who incites terror and attacks on IDF soldiers, and aids terror organizations."


"If Palestinian terror organizations are Taha's cronies," said Miller, "then he can relieve us of his presence and go live with them."


(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Arab MKs who make treasonous statements to Arab audiences in the Arabic language often claim, after learning that their statements have been published in Israeli newspapers, that their statements have been mistranslated into the Hebrew and English languages.]




[Arab MK] Taha's temerity

(Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2006) The temerity of some of our Arab parliamentarians never fails to surprise. Even after recurrent junkets to enemy states like Lebanon and Syria, after hurling invective at the State to which ostensibly they owe allegiance and after raking in political capital from radicalizing their electorate, they still intermittently manage to shock us anew.

The latest to achieve the feat is Balad MK Wasal Taha, who proudly proclaimed in an Internet chat on the popular Arabic-language Islam-on-Line site that he had recommended that Palestinians not attack civilians but choose the "military option, set up armed units in order to attack IDF encampments, confront Israeli soldiers, fight them and take both the soldiers and occupation captive."

Taha later stated that his remarks were "mistranslated."  "I am not the Hamas chief of staff" he said.  "I am not ordering any kidnappings."  But then he repeated his claim that "the murder and massive attacks on Gaza have left Palestinians with two options: either to harm innocent civilians or to confront the army, and they picked the more difficult choice of confronting the Israel Defense Forces, capturing [Cpl. Gilad] Shalit in the process."

Even Fatah officials, while condemning Israel, have blamed Hamas for continuing to attack Israel and bringing on the inevitable Israeli responses which, equally inevitably, cause Palestinian suffering. By refusing to see, much less acknowledge, Hamas's responsibility for this situation and justifying Hamas's attacks, Taha is not only siding with violent attacks against the State he was sworn to represent, but is effectively siding with Hamas's positions over those of Fatah in the intra-Palestinian feud.

Taha's legitimization of the attack against the IDF inside sovereign Israeli territory continued with his complaint that Israel "tried to label this 'a kidnapping' and refer to the soldier as a 'hostage.' But kidnapping is something perpetrated by gangsters, terrorists and such. Shalit is a prisoner -- not a hostage. He was captured in an action by an organized, legitimate side, which Israel seeks to diminish by portraying as terrorist."

Israel, he further claimed, "is in cahoots with America, which declared war on Islam and Muslims under the heading of 'the war against terror.'"

Taha was introduced to forum participants as hailing from the "part of Palestine occupied in 1948 [i.e., Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines]," a description to which he voiced no objection.

This isn't Taha's idiosyncratic quirk. His statements were echoed and amplified by ex-MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe, who told Nazareth's Arabic-language Kul el-Arab that the raid "was an honorable and legitimate operation." He also praised the rocketing of Sderot and other Israeli towns, underscoring and elaborating on this theme to every Israeli radio interviewer who gave him airtime.

While some Israeli Arab local authority heads have often taken more moderate and constructive positions, extremist rhetoric and actions by Arab Knesset members has also included the recent Ta'al-Ra'am MKs' meeting with Hamas higher-ups and MK Azmi Bishara's repeated excursions to Damascus and Beirut, his hobnobbing with terror's head honchos there and his fiery oratory urging fellow Arabs to battle Israel.

Bishara sometimes seems to be battling with other Arab Knesset members for the distinction of who is most anti-Israeli. Apparently, their perception is that the more extreme they are seen to be, the greater their vote-getting potential. The danger, patently, is of a deepening vicious cycle, wherein political profit accrues from inflammatory rhetoric, and radicalized voters elect ever more extreme representatives. It is a cycle that Israeli Arabs, for their good and that of the country, can and must break.

No nation -- least of all one in the throes of an existential struggle for survival -- can tolerate its own elected leaders proffering advice with immunity to the enemy while guns blaze. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It has everything to do with Israel's self-preservation instincts and even the respect expected of its citizenry for legal authority.

Hence the broadening parliamentary support for NRP MK Zevulun Orlev's initiative to repeal Knesset membership from any MK who supports a terror organization or advocates violent attacks on Israeli soldiers or civilians.

Across the political spectrum, indeed, there is little sympathy for Taha. [Leftist] MK Ran Cohen (Meretz), for instance, has accused him of "sending immoral messages which incite to terror and war. Taha's solidarity with the Palestinians," Cohen rightly stressed, "cannot justify a call to kidnap soldiers and resort to violence."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Many Arab MKs -- while carefully and cautiously justifying the routine and intentional targeting of Israel’s civilian Jewish population centers by their ethnic brethren -- positively glow with public praise over their ethnic brethren’s occasional and/or incidental targeting of Israel’s military personnel.  Such rare military attacks permit Arab MKs to loudly proclaim that Arab “freedom fighters” cannot be labeled as terrorists precisely because they have murdered soldiers instead of civilians.  And it is certainly true that while the intentional targeting of civilians constitutes terrorism, the intentional targeting of soldiers does not.  However, the perpetration of an occasional and/or incidental atrocity against a Jewish soldier does not unmake a terrorist.  Rather, it simply means that Arab terrorists, in addition to routinely and intentionally targeting Israel’s civilian Jewish population centers, sometimes perpetuate non-terroristic aggression against Israel’s military personnel.  This hardly permits them to shed their well-deserved label of Terrorist.]



MK Bishara: IDF attacks 'like a nuclear bomb on Lebanon'


[In an interview with a British television network, Arab MK Azmi Bishara downplays the carnage caused by over 1,800 Hizbullah rockets -- as of this date -- raining down upon northern Israel, but he loudly cries over the damage done to Lebanon by Israel’s counterattack]



(Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2006) Knesset member Azmi Bishara (Balad) has accused Israel of such massive use of force in the conflict with Hizbullah that "it's like a nuclear bomb falling on Lebanon -- the whole country is destroyed."

Bishara made the accusation during an interview on Friday with Britain's Sky News. He derided the notion that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had okayed the offensive against Hizbullah to protect Israel's citizens, asserting that Olmert was acting because the United States had sought war to "break the stalemate in Lebanon."

He also referred to Hizbullah's Katyusha rocket fire as "grenades on Haifa."

The interviewer, apparently dumbstruck by the hostility to Israel being demonstrated by a member of its parliament, asked Bishara whether it was not the case that Syria and Iran, the nations supporting Hizbullah, seek Israel's destruction.

Bishara responded that Israel had "a problematic relationship" with its neighbors because it was occupying and bombarding Gaza. He said that the current escalation could have been resolved with a much more minor Israeli military response to the Hizbullah incursion on July 12 and a subsequent prisoner exchange.

National Union-National Religious Party MK Aryeh Eldad responded that he would advise Bishara to move to the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, "so he could show his solidarity with Hizbullah in actions and not merely in words."

His colleague, National Union-National Religious Party MK Zevulun Orlev, said Bishara was "sticking a knife in the IDF's back at a time of war" and that MKs who say such things should not be in the Knesset. Orlev proposed a bill revoking the Knesset membership of any MK who overtly supports Israel's enemies.

Knesset Law Committee chairman Menahem Ben-Sasson (Kadima) agreed to Orlev's request to expedite the bill's passage. A special session of the law committee during the Knesset recess will discuss the bill, but its passage in the Knesset plenum cannot be completed until after the recess ends in October.

Ben-Sasson, who voted against the bill when it passed its preliminary reading, said he is against statements from Arab MKs that identify with Israel's enemies , but that he opposes the bill, because he does not believe the Knesset should take the place of the courts. He said he prefers creating an atmosphere in which such statements would not be made.

(©) The Jerusalem Post



A widening divide


[As  missiles rain death upon northern Israel, all Arab political parties represented in the Knesset show their solidarity with Hizbullah in its war against the Jewish State]


By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(August 4, 2006, Jerusalem Post) On the day the rockets began to rain onto northern Israel, Knesset members could do little but sit, glued to the televisions in the Knesset cafeteria, and give half-hearted predictions on the war that everyone was afraid to name.

For many MKs, that day three weeks ago was the beginning of a newly unified Knesset. The calls for a national unity government, which would bring all political parties together and create a broad wartime coalition, may have gone unheeded -- but in the days to come Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu became the government's unofficial spokesman and earned the nickname "the un-opposition leader."

"We all, all of us here at the Knesset, stand united by our forces," announced Netanyahu during an emergency session of the Knesset this Monday morning. Several minutes later, however, he was forced to change his statement to "most of us here at the Knesset" when three Arab MKs were ejected from the Knesset after yelling out "child killer," "war crimes" and "Israeli hate machine" in quick unison.

Even during that first day around the crowded TVs, there were 10 faces notably missing. Absent, because instead of watching Israeli news, they were locked in their offices, tuning in to [the Qatar-controlled Arab news network] Al-Jazeera on their computers to gauge the reaction from the Arab world -- their world, and the world of their constituency. In the weeks to come, Arab MKs were to become further ostracized from the rest of the Knesset, leading many to wonder if the Balad, Ra'am-Ta'al, Hadash and United Arab List parties would have a future in the Knesset.

"For a long time there has been discussion about whether these MKs fit into the Israeli Knesset framework," said MK Zevulun Orlev, (National Union-National Religious Party). "Especially during a time of war, when patriotism and support of the government are the chief concerns of the Knesset, these Arab MKs - who support terror networks -- do not belong in the Knesset."

Barely a week before the Knesset began its recess, Orlev had pushed through a first reading on a law that would evict MKs from the Knesset if they voice support of terror organizations. Several months in the making, Orlev's law enjoyed various levels of support, but the MK acknowledges that with the start of the war, there was a sudden burst of support for the bill.

"During this difficult time, when the IDF is struggling to fight against terror, there are Arab MKs clearly supporting and encouraging terror organizations such as Hamas," said Orlev. "Whoever wants to support these organizations can go join the Palestinian Authority's parliament -- now is their chance because the PA is missing a few parliament members right now," he added dryly, referencing the June 26 arrests of PA parliamentarians.

According to the bill, the Knesset House Committee -- with the approval of the Supreme Court -- could cancel the membership of any MK who "identified with or supported" a terror organization.

In the first vote, many of the government's Kadima and Gil MKs joined the right-wing Likud, Israel Beitenu, NU-NRP, Shas and United Torah Judaism in voting for the law. The bill must still pass a second and third vote before it becomes law, but the Arab MKs have already banded together to call it the "most racist legislature to come out of the Knesset in years."

"Now, especially now, in a time of war, when the Arab MKs still feel like they can say anything, it is important to have a bill like this," said an Israel Beitenu spokesman. Israel Beiteinu had originally urged Orlev to impose even more stringent limitations on Arab MKs' rights to speak in public forums, nationally and internationally.Since the recent violence began, Arab MKs have been slammed for failing to support the Israeli Defense Forces.

"Israel has declared war on the citizens of Lebanon and the massacre in Kafr Kana is part of that. Those responsible have committed a war crime and should be tried in The Hague. The world must act quickly to stop the Olmert-Peretz-Halutz war machine," said MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) during a Knesset session on Monday. He, along with MK Taleb a-Sanaa and MK Ibrahim Sarsur (Ra'am-Ta'al), were all ejected from that session by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik for "constant disruptions to the proceeding order."

As the three left the plenum, many MKs shouted at them that their final exit would not be far away.

"I will not stop until I see you thrown out of the Knesset and the State of Israel," yelled out MK Effie Eitam (NU-NRP).

There have always been Arab MKs in parliament; three Arabs served in the first Knesset. However, the past Knesset session has seen a steady and serious deterioration in relations between them and the rest of the parties.

"This Knesset has clearly been one of the worst for Arab MKs," said MK Taleb a-Sanaa. "There is a serious deterioration in this Knesset in the treatment of Arab MKs.  It is racism."

Many have speculated on why the relationship has deteriorated so badly over the 17th Knesset. In many ways, acknowledged a-Sanaa, the Arab MKs walk with one foot in each world, trying to please both their constituents and their colleagues in the Knesset.

"They [the Knesset] treat us like we are traitors, and our own Arab brothers treat us like we are traitors," said a-Sanaa.

There has also been a growing trend in the media of treating the Knesset as a theater, said one Kadima MK, leading many MKs to treat it as such.

"Some of those outbursts feel so staged," said this MK, who acknowledged it was something he did as well. "The Arab MKs have to do it to make the news and keep their constituents. And the right-wingers have to oppose [the conduct of the Arab MKs] to keep their constituents. It's all a big game? it gets bigger with every camera."

Knesset relations with Arab MKs in the 17th session began "on the wrong foot," said a-Sanaa, who blamed the Israel Beitenu party for making Arab MKs feel as "un-welcomed" as possible.

Israel Beitenu Leader Avigdor Lieberman threw the first gauntlet with a controversial speech comparing Arab MKs to Nazi war collaborators during the first week of this Knesset in April.

Over the next few weeks, the verbal battles between Israel Beitenu and Arab MKs escalated until the two parties could barely sit in the plenum together without Itzik calling the two to order.

At that time, MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List) said their fight was with Israel Beitenu, and that the rest of the Knesset was "stepping aside from that racist party."

As the war ended its third week, however, Israel Beitenu seemed as much a part of the government as the parties within the actual coalition, and Lieberman was heard lauding Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his "brave leadership."

On Monday, the three evicted MKs sat in the now deserted cafeteria. The remotes were at their disposal, but the Knesset televisions apparently weren't receiving the Arabic news networks.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Two points need to be made:  (1) Although many “Israeli” Arabs have also been murdered by these Hizbullah rockets, Arab MKs steadfastly refuse to condemn either Hizbullah or the troika of countries -- Iran, Syria and Lebanon -- without whose support Hizbullah could not continue to exist, let alone be able to rain death upon the residents -- both Jews and Arabs -- of northern Israel;  and  (2) By complaining that "They [the Knesset] treat us like we are traitors, and our own Arab brothers treat us like we are traitors", MK a-Sanaa is essentially acknowledging that his “Israeli” Arab constituents consider his hatred for the Jewish State to be insufficiently fervent.]


Arab MKs go to Damascus to meet Syrian leadership


By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(Jerusalem Post, September 8, 2006) Ignoring the Knesset ban of political officials traveling to enemy states, Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Wasal Taha left for Damascus Thursday to meet with Syrian leadership there.

The Knesset passed the law in 2001, when another Balad MK, Azmi Bishara, travelled to Syria.  Zahalka and Taha said their visit was to show solidarity with the Lebanese people.

Knesset officials have yet to announce if the two will be penalized for their visit.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Syria, together with Iran, supplied all of the 4,200 rockets that Hizbullah (which is part of both the legislative and executive branches of Lebanon’s government) rained upon the civilian population centers of northern Israel, thereby murdering and maiming hundreds of people in the Jewish State -- both Jews and Arabs.  After the official cessation of hostilities on August 14, 2006, Syrian President Bashar el-Asad publicly lauded the death and destruction inflicted upon Israel by Hizbullah.]



Mr. Bkheitan Meets Palestinian Intellectual Bishara, Stresses Syria's Support to Palestine


[Arab MK Azmi Bishara, during his illegal visit to Syria, extols Syrian support for the Lebanese and “Palestinian” fronts of the grand terror War against Israel]


Local News /

Sep 09, 2006 - 08:50 PM


Damascus, Sep. 09 (SANA) -- Regional Assistant Secretary of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Mohammad Said Bkheitan stressed that Syria supports efforts to boos [sic] the Palestinian national unity among all factions and trends.


In a meeting with visiting Palestinian intellectual Azmi Bishara and the accompanying delegation in Damascus on Saturday, Mr. Bkheitan said Syria stands by Palestinian national options, and it is ready to offer what is requested from it based on the fraternal relations and destiny with the Palestinians.


For his part, Mr. Bishara highly appreciated Syria's principled stances in supporting the national Palestinian and Lebanese stances, stressing that the American Israeli campaign targeting the country is because of its [Syria’s] principled stances.


He added that the Palestinians under occupation recognize importance of sticking to the pan-Arab options in light of awareness of the conspiracies to distort their Arab identity.


Mr. Bishara warned that Israel might resort to preventive strikes in more than a [sic] place to get out of its internal crisis and restore some of its self-esteem. 


Ahmad F. ZAHRA


This article is from Syrian Arab News Agency: SANA, Damascus Syria




Enforce the law


[Arab MKs make illegal pilgrimages to enemy countries in order to provide succor for the latters’ portion of the pan-Arab War against Israel]

(Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2006) Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz has acceded to the interior minister's request and announced that a trio of Balad MKs -- Azmi Bishara, Jamal Zahalka and Wasal Taha -- will be investigated for traveling to an enemy state without authorization.

Theoretically, this could lead to prosecution, though Bishara has already been under such "investigation" for the past several months for an illegal excursion to Lebanon, a fact which hardly deterred him from breaking the law again. It is hard to understand what there might be to investigate, given that the MKs did not hide their destination, nor their refusal to obtain authorization to go there.

Additionally, and unmentioned by Mazuz, there is the invective these MKs poured on Israel during their travels and the support they expressed for the Syrian struggle against what is formally their own State -- the one in whose parliament they serve and whose taxpayers fund their paychecks and indirectly their junkets.

Bishara, especially, has been to Beirut many times, where he appeared with Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah, lauded him and urged to him to "continue his fight."

After one such trip, in 2001, this country's legal system did, uniquely, press charges. But Bishara beat the rap on a technicality. The court noted that his VIP passport exempted him from the duty to obtain the Interior Minister's approval for travel to enemy territory -- a duty which the law imposes on ordinary Israelis.

The Legislature immediately plugged this loophole and, in 2002, produced an amendment which specifically states that MKs and all other holders of special-issue passports are also obliged to obtain ministerial approval for journeys to enemy states. This amendment has not been enforced, despite recurrent violations.

The Balad MKs, accompanied by two former MKs as well -- Muhammad Miari and Muhammad Kan'an -- plainly thumbed their noses at Israeli law.

Perhaps their assumption is that they will enjoy the same impunity as previously. MKs from other Arab factions, like Ahmad Tibi and Talab a-Sanaa, have likewise gone on similar forbidden trips without repercussions.

The Balad MKs may also have violated the law against "supporting the armed struggle of an enemy state or a terrorist organization against Israel." While in Damascus, Bishara extolled Syria's "struggle to liberate occupied Arab land, its resistance against occupation and its defense of the legitimacy of such resistance." He warned Syria of likely "preemptive Israeli strikes" and, on Lebanon, berated "Israel's barbaric onslaughts."

Zahaka argued that "for us Syria is no enemy" and voiced "solidarity with Syria, especially after Israel's savage aggression against Lebanon." Taha recently revealed he had recommended that organizations hostile to Israel "concentrate their efforts on attacking and abducting Israeli soldiers."

A country's legal code is the glue which keeps its social fabric from fraying and tearing. When that code is contravened, the country's resolve to uphold its sovereignty is tested. If it fails to implement and enforce its laws, it loses authority. Laws cannot apply only to one segment of the population. Such a situation broadcasts not broadmindedness and magnanimity but vacillation and weakness. It invites further breaches.

This is a crucial test for our system. It is bound with the fact that the tax authorities and police fear to operate in some Arab townships, that illegal construction there is rampant, and that far from all of Israel's Arab citizens feel they owe even pro-forma allegiance to the state from which they demand all the benefits to which their citizenship entitles them.

This the environment which led a Nazareth father who lost his two young sons to a Hizbullah Katyusha a few weeks back to praise Nasrallah as "a distinguished leader and a beloved brother" and blame Israel's self-defense for his tragedy.

Israel is at a crossroads.  It must decide between inviting disloyalty, emboldening subversion and losing the last remnants of respect in its Arab community, or reaffirming the rule of law and thereby discouraging future internecine conflict. The Knesset has equipped the Judiciary with the tools to enforce the law -- to go beyond declarative "investigations" which thus far have led nowhere.

(©) The Jerusalem Post



Balad MKs follow controversial jaunt to Syria with one to Beirut


[Arab MKs travel from Syria to Lebanon in order to express solidarity with the Lebanese “victims” of Israeli “aggression”]


By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(Jerusalem Post, September 17, 2006) Three Arab Knesset members arrived in Lebanon on Thursday following a week-long trip to Syria, in what has become one of the most controversial "solidarity missions" in the history of the Israeli legislature.

The three Balad MKs, Azmi Bishara, Jamal Zahalka and Wasal Taha, coordinated their visit with the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, who is close to Hizbullah.

"Their visit is blatant treason... it is an act of espionage," said Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who has already called for the three to be dismissed from the Knesset.

During their week in Syria, the lawmakers met with political and religious leaders, making headlines when they told Baath party officials that Israel was likely to attack Syria to recover its military deterrence.

Bishara expressed support for Syria's struggle to free "occupied Arab land" and praised Syrian support for "resistance to the occupation."

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz has opened an investigation against the three for the visit to Syria. Police said Thursday that the investigation would be carried out by the International Serious Crimes Unit.

Knesset members are prohibited from traveling to enemy countries under a 2001 law that carries sanctions of up to four years in jail. That law was passed after Bishara visited to Syria but escaped legal action after it was determined that there was no law prohibiting his trip.

"We passed a law specifically against this type of thing five years ago, and that law was hand-written for Bishara," said one NU-NRP MK. "Now he has the gall to travel to Syria again? They [the Balad MKs] don't deserve to be in the Knesset."

The Balad legislators have responded to the outcry against them by saying in a statement that they were prepared to "face the consequences" of their visit.

"This trip is to express solidarity with the victims of the War," a Balad spokesman said. "It is our right, and the right of Arabs in Israel, to remain in contact with Arab nations."

In Syria, Zahalka met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who told the MK that Syria was committed to the 2002 Arab League peace initiative and that he would establish official ties with Israel only after Israel accepted the initiative.

On Friday, the Balad MKs are scheduled to meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora.

Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  The 2002 “peace initiative” of the League of Arab States, which is supported by all “Israeli” Arab MKs, requires Israel to withdraw to the lines of June 4, 1967 (i.e., the military separation-of-forces lines which existed just prior to the 1967 Six Day War).  These lines are not identical to Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines, because in violation of its Armistice Agreement with Israel (at Article V, subparagraph 5b), Syria had gradually encroached upon and occupied the Demilitarized Zone established between the two countries, so that by the end of 1951 its armed forces occupied the northeastern shore of Lake Kinneret (constituting approximately 20% of its shoreline) and the eastern bank of the Jordan River flowing south from Lake Hula to Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee), all west of Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation line with Syria (i.e., the lines of June 4, 1967 placed Syria inside Israel’s 1949 armistice demarcation lines).  In addition to ceding that additional land to Syria, Israel will have to expel the 470,000 Jews who presently reside in the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and the eastern portion of Jerusalem (-- the 8,500 Jews of Gaza and the 1,500 Jews of northern Samaria having already been unilaterally expelled by Israel in August 2005).  This necessarily means transferring the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the Western Wall of the Temple Mount to Arab sovereignty, thereby rendering these places Judenrein (cleansed of Jews).  Moreover, this also means permitting the stationing of Arab armed forces 18 kilometers (approximately 11 miles) from the western edge of the coastal city of Tel Aviv (i.e., the Mediterranean Sea), and 15 kilometers (approximately 9 miles) from the western edge of the coastal city of Netanya (i.e., the Mediterranean Sea), permitting these hostile forces to encircle the western portion of Jerusalem and its environs on three sides, permitting them to control a territorial salient at Latrun which overlooks, and is consequently capable of severing and blockading, the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway (which would then constitute the sole road linking the western portion of Jerusalem with the remainder of Israel), and permitting them to station themselves on the peaks of the hills which dominate the entire Upper Galilee region of Israel, including Israel’s largest body of fresh water -- Lake Kinneret -- which constitutes 40% of the Jewish State’s water supply, as well as on the Lake’s northeastern shore.  Additionally, the pan-Arab plan requires Israel to recognize and implement a “right of return” for the Arab belligerents who departed Israel during its War of Independence as well as their multi-generational descendants, presently aggregating to approximately 4,400,000 hostile irredentists and revanchists.  In other words, this plan merely reiterates the maximalist Arab position continuously in effect since 1967; and it is calculated to hasten, by means of War and Demography, the destruction of Israel as a Jewish nation-state.  Moreover, the “Palestinian” demand for a “right of return” to Israel rather than to the new “Palestinian” state belies the officially-proclaimed raison d'être for the creation that new state, namely, that a “Palestinian” state is needed to serve as an ethnic homeland for the “Palestinian” people. The Arab League has made it plain that its "peace initiative" is a non-negotiable ultimatum that does not require any Arab state to recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people.]



Balad MKs Bishara and Taha questioned over visits to enemy states


By Rebecca Anna Stoil

(Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2006) Balad MKs Azmi Bishara and Wasil Taha were questioned Thursday by the police's International and Serious Crimes Unit regarding allegations that they broke the law when they visited enemy states starting September 14.  Bishara said that the questioning was "relevant and polite," but both lawmakers slammed Israeli politicians for "failing to understand" the potential benefit of their recent visit to Lebanon and Syria.

On Wednesday, Balad legislator Jamal Zahalka and former MK Muhammad Kana'an were questioned about their participation in the same trip. Former MK Muhammad Miari also made the journey.

The five are all suspected of violating a 2001 law forbidding political officials from traveling to enemy states. Taha said Thursday that the legislation was unconstitutional and violated MK's basic rights.

"Instead of taking advantage of our connections with Syria, we are being investigated," Taha said Thursday. Bishara said the prime minister should have asked him about his impressions, rather than police investigators.  "Only we meet the political conditions to meet with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad," Bishara said.

"I am not sorry that we traveled [to Syria and Lebanon].  If the need arises, I will do it again. We don't go on vacations like other MKs, who take advantage of their status to travel overseas.  We do it because we think that it is important, these are visits during times of tension. Any normal country would appreciate this, because it creates dialogue," he said.

Last Sunday, Attorney General Menahem Mazuz said he was opening an investigation into the trip, which was conducted without permission from the Interior Ministry or the prime minister.

Bishara said Mazuz "gave in to public pressure when he decided to try us for the visit," and that certain politicians were acting out of "base political" motives by insisting that the five be investigated.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  It is disingenuous for Arab MKs to visit enemy countries in violation of Israeli law, while there to publicly demonize Israel and praise those seeking to destroy the Jewish State, and then claim that their visits serve -- in reality -- as conduits for peace and understanding between the Jewish State and its Arab adversaries.]



Court rules against Hamas lawmakers


[Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa, acting as the chief defense counsel to Hamas terrorists jailed in Israel, condemns an IDF military court’s decision to keep them incarcerated until the end of their trials]

By Yaacov Katz

(Jerusalem Post, September 26, 2006) An IDF military court overturned a previous ruling Monday, declaring that the 21 Hamas ministers and lawmakers currently in Israeli custody would remain in jail until the end of legal proceedings against them.

In his decision, Judge Col. Shaul Gorden said that the Hamas officials could not live "in two different worlds," one, the democratic world where they were elected as officials in democratic elections, and the other, the world of a known terror group.

"Due to their senior status in the Hamas organization, there is no choice but to order their continued confinement, even if they did not play a direct role in terror activities," Gorden said.

The judge continued by saying that the State of Israel wages a daily battle against terror groups operating with the clear goal of destroying and killing Israeli citizens. As high ranking as the Hamas officials were, "they cannot hide behind names and titles to be able to continue and implement their illegal goals," Gorden wrote.

The judge said that his decision did not come easily. "Not every day are democratically elected ministers and lawmakers brought before a court," the judge wrote. "And even though the Hamas group has declared as its goal the destruction of Israel, it does not make this decision any easier."

The judge added that the democratic process did not allow for the release of people who call for the destruction of Israel. In a diplomatic message, the judge said he saw before him a split personality: on the one hand, members of a terror group, and on the other hand elected officials. "This duality cannot exist and therefore the defendants need to decide where they are heading."

Detained Hamas official, PA Parliament Speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik waved his hands in a sign of victory despite the decision against him, saying that the judge's decision was politically motivated.

MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List), who led the defense for the Hamas lawmakers, said that the court decision would have a negative impact on efforts to release kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit. "With this decision, the State apparently wants to continue its policy of targeted killings and occupation against the Palestinian people."

Maj. Murice Hirsch, Deputy IDF prosecutor in Judea and Samaria, said that the court's decision backed up the prosecution's claim that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the Hamas officials were members of a terror group. "The State of Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism," Hirsch said.

The IDF Prosecutor's Office filed an appeal on Sept 21 against the military court's previous decision to release on bail the Hamas detainees under indictment for membership in a terrorist organization.

Military Judge Maj. Ronen Atzmon had ordered the release on bail of the 21 while voicing criticism of their continued detainment. Among the 21 were Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Dr. Aziz Dweck, PA Religion Minister Na'af Rajoub, PA Labor Minister Muhammad Barghouti, PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Khaled Abu Arfa and orange-bearded PLC member Muhammad Abu Tir.

In his decision, the military judge questioned the timing of the arrests, noting that Israel knew that the suspects -- who were indicted last week for membership in a terrorist organization -- were associated with Hamas before the elections, but turned a blind eye and allowed them to be elected.

(©) The Jerusalem Post




[Arab] MK Taleb a-Sanaa calls for [mass murderer] Marwan Barghouti's release [and for the release of other imprisioned Arab terrorists]

By Rebecca Anna Stoil

(Jerusalem Post, September 28, 2006) MK Taleb a-Sanaa didn't have to hold visits with Arab leaders in Damascus and Beirut to cause controversy, like other Arab MKs have done this summer. He only had to travel to Nafha Prison in the Negev in order to conduct his Wednesday meeting with Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti. At the meeting, a-Sanaa said, he and Barghouti -- who is serving five life sentences for his role in terrorist activity --
discussed topics of local and global political importance, including the potential for a unity government in the Palestinian Authority, the practice of exchanging prisoners for captured IDF soldiers and the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The two met for 90 minutes in the head warden's office at the prison. A-Sanaa downplayed the significance of the meeting, saying it was the fourth such meeting he had with Barghouti and that he makes a habit of visiting prisoners, both criminal and security-related, as part of his Knesset duties "whenever the need arises."

Following the meeting, a-Sanaa told The Jerusalem Post that Barghouti was an important figure in any future deal involving an exchange of prisoners for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

"If Israel wants a significant release of prisoners, Barghouti needs to be at the top of the list. He embodies the hope of the Fatah and the future leadership of the Palestinian people," said a-Sanaa. Barghouti, he continued, remained a critical force in the Palestinian political arena.

"He was the force and strength behind the Prisoners' Agreement, which is the basis of an agreement for a unity government between Fatah and Hamas," said a-Sanaa. According to a-Sanaa, Barghouti saw such a unity government as necessary "to end the blockade of the Palestinian Authority, to stop Palestinian terror and to prevent a civil war in the PA."

A-Sanaa added that Barghouti closely followed political developments within Israel and the Middle East, and that following the war this summer, there was an opportunity for diplomatic steps. Barghouti, he said, was concerned that if the PA was not internally unified, they would remain outside the negotiation processes.

On the subject of the peace process, according to a-Sanaa, Barghouti reiterated previous statements that the breakdown of negotiations between the PA and Israel was due to Israeli unwillingness.

"Hamas has come a long way toward recognizing Israel," a-Sanaa said, adding that it was PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and not the Hamas government that had the mandate for international negotiation on behalf of Palestinians.

A-Sanaa said Barghouti also put the blame for the kidnapping of IDF soldiers solely in the hands of Israel.

"Israel is guilty in creating the direction for kidnapping soldiers because it wasn't willing to listen to Abbas's requests to release prisoners," a-Sanaa told the Post, emphasizing that Barghouti said the Palestinians were left with no other option for the release of the prisoners.

"The same is true with Samir Kuntar," a-Sanaa added. "If Israel had negotiated for his release, there wouldn't have been any war in Lebanon."

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  Arab MK a-Sanaa not only advocates for the release of “Palestinian” Arab terrorists, but also for Lebanese Arab terrorists, such as Samir Kuntar.  Samir Kuntar is a Lebanese Druze Arab who was convicted by Israel of mass murder for having spearheaded a 1979 terror attack by a squad of the Lebanon-based Palestine Liberation Front, which resulted in the deaths of four Jews in Nahariya, Israel, including 28 year old Danny Haran and his 4 year old daughter Einat.  Kuntar murdered Danny Haran, in front of his daughter Einat, by shooting him in the back and then drowning him in the Mediterranean Sea.  Kuntar subsequently murdered little Einat by smashing her head against beach rocks and crushing her skull with the butt of his rifle.]



Knesset rejects 'declaration of loyalty' bill


[Arab MKs oppose bill to impose loyalty oath on Israeli citizens]


By Sheera Claire Frenkel

(Jerusalem Post, October 19, 2006) The Knesset on Wednesday rejected by overwhelming majority a bill that would require Israelis to sign a declaration of loyalty to the State before they were allowed to vote. The bill was proposed by MK Zvi Hendel (NU-NRP) and was only supported by the right-wing religious parties in the 45-17 vote.

Speaking at the Knesset Wednesday, Hendel said that the bill aims to prevent citizens who are "hostile to the state of Israel" from voting.