Knesset members from Arab factions and Meretz faction chairwoman Zahava Gal-On slammed the visit paid by exiled Syrian opposition leader Farid Ghadry to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday morning.
MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) attacked Ghadry, saying he "has decided to incite against his people and his country, choosing to be a mercenary for the Americans. He came as a wretched servant to the extreme right's warmongering agenda. Filth is bad but this kind of American filth is the worst."
MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List – Ta'al) spotted Ghadry in a Knesset hallway and launched a verbal assault on him in Arabic, saying, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself?
"You come here as a cheap tool in the hands of Netanyahu and ask the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee not to cede the Golan, your homeland, when more than half the Israelis want to withdraw. This is despicable."
MK Tzachi Hanegbi with Ghadry on Monday (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Another MK opposed to the visit is Meretz faction chairwoman Zahava Gal-On.
"Ghadry's proposal to negotiate with the Syrian people and not Bashar Assad is improbable because political talks must be held with the regime controlling the country. So the regime in Israel must speak to that in Damascus. If we had waited for someone else to rise to power instead of Sadat, we wouldn't have peace with Egypt today. Israel must ignore Ghadry's proposal and announce it wants direct negotiations with Assad," she said.
Ghadry, who heads the Syrian Reform Party – composed of Syrians living in Europe and the United States – arrived in Israel to convince the government not to negotiate with the Syrian president.
Speaking with Ynet prior to his arrival, Ghadry said, "We believe that we have a different message than what Assad is giving the Israeli public. Peace with Syria is important, but peace with Assad would be a disaster for Israel and for Syria.
"We have a message of peace, but Israel must be cautious about making peace with a dictator. Real peace is made between two peoples, not with a tyrant."