Author Topic: New Knesset law bars visitors to enemy countries from running for office  (Read 2164 times)

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Offline דוד בן זאב אריה

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The Israeli parliament enacted legislation that prevents the election of those who visit countries hostile to Israel without permission. Arab Knesset Members who make no secret of their hatred for Israel and go out of their way to fraternize with the enemy will find themselves unable to run for re-election. The law in particular targets MKs who visited Hezbullah strongholds and Syria during the second Lebanon War.

The law, approved by the Knesset in its second and third readings Monday, stipulates that anyone who travels to enemy states -- Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia -- is disqualified from serving in the Knesset on the grounds that the visit constitutes support for an armed struggle against Israel.

The legislation, which passed by a 52-24 vote, was hailed by its sponsors as a guarantee that "Trojan horses" and "enemies" would no longer be allowed to serve in the Knesset.

MK Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP), a cosponsor of the bill, said the bill posed a clear choice to Israeli Arab citizens -- many of whom call themselves "Palestinians with Israeli Citizenship" -- as to where their national loyalties lie: "From today onward," he said, "Arab MKs will have to decide -- the Syrian parliament or the Israeli parliament. The law will put the brakes on the infiltration of Trojan horses into the Knesset," said Orlev. "We must demand of the Arab leadership unconditional loyalty to the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state just as every democratic state asks of its elected officials."

Knesset Member Estrina Tartman (Yisrael Beiteinu), co-sponsor of the new bill, pointed out some examples of the Arab exploitation of Israel's freedoms to give aid and comfort to the enemy:

"Knesset Member Wasil Taha claimed in July 2007 that the abduction of Gilad Shalit is not a terror act, and suggested that the Palestinians adopt the 'military way' in their struggle against the State of Israel. He also said that "Israel is delusional if it thinks it can defeat Hizbullah?we should bring victory to our people under siege."

In January 2007, MK Ahmad Tibi said: ?I call on Fatah and Hamas -- unite, unite, unite. National unity is the guarantee for the struggle against the occupation and the manner through which you will thwart the occupation?s schemes. Remember, the homeland has not yet been liberated."

Tartman notes: "Those were not declarations made by members of the Syrian or Iranian regime, but rather, by elected officials serving in the Israeli Knesset, while being present at conventions and rallies that among other things called for the elimination of Israel. Yet we remained silent, and our silence is our weakness. Our silence empowers our enemies. Therefore, the time has come to restore some sanity and stop this process."

The bill is also known as the Bishara Law, because it was submitted after former Balad MK Azmi Bishara, who made numerous trips to Lebanon and Syria and is currently wanted for questioning by the Israel Police on suspicion of treason for allegedly aiding Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War.

Tartman concludes: "We should not naively believe that those elected officials, who took part in rallies calling for Israel's destruction and hugged with our greatest enemies, only traveled abroad in order to eat hummus or pick strawberries. The new legislation can our boost national strength and restore some of our dignity as a people."

Said Nafaa, a Knesset Member from the anti-Israel Balad (Homeland) party, submitted a petition to Israel's High Court of Justice on Tuesday, attempting to overturn the new law.
The petition maintains that the new law, an amendment to the Basic Law, violates the rights of minorities as well as basic human rights and harms democracy.

MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said that "it is a law of terror by any other name. It aims to impose a rule of terror in thought and political opinion. It is an unconstitutional law -- you can't call visits by relatives and visits for the promotion [of] peace support for terror."
David Ben Ze'ev Aryeh

Offline takebackourtemple

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Finally something good.
Does it bother you that you have to face the dome and the rock to say the sh'ma?

Offline Ben Yehuda

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Finally something good.

Agreed- some sanity in the Knesset, a rare thing.