MK Orlev
Photo: Dafna Mekel
George Habash
Photo: AFP

Orlev: Try Arab MKs who attended Habash's funeral

NRP chair says Arab-Israeli MKs who participated in Sunday's funeral of PFLP founder George Habash should be put on trial. 'It's time to demand loyalty from Arab-Israeli leadership to Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state,' he adds. MK Barakeh: We're not in the Knesset because someone did us a favor

National Religious Party chairman Zevulun Orlev called on Tuesday to put on trial the Arab Knesset members who attended the funeral of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder George Habash.


The demand came as the plenum was preparing for a first reading vote on the (Azmi) Bishara Bill, submitted by Orlev, according to which anyone who visits an enemy state would be prohibited from running for a seat in the Knesset.


MKs Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List), Jamal Zahalka and Wassal Taha (Balad) were among the thousands who attended the funeral, which was held last Sunday just outside Amman, Jordan.


Orlev said he planned to turn to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to examine the possibility of trying Israeli MKs who participated in the funeral of "the head of a terrorist organization".


'This is madness'

According to him, "participation in the funeral seemingly indicates – if nothing else – support for acts of terror and for Habash.


"It is time to remove the mask of hypocrisy and demand loyalty from the Arab-Israeli leadership to Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state," he said. "No member of the US Congress would dare visit Iraq without the administration's authorization. It is also naïve to think that the purpose of these visits to enemy states is to enjoy the scenery or eat at a good restaurant."


MK David Rotem of Yisrael Beiteinu said, "Despite the fact that Jordan is not an enemy state, (attending the funeral) constitutes identification with a terror organization."


Fellow Yisrael Beiteinu member Esterina Tartman added that "there is no other democratic country in the world that allows its citizens to visit an enemy state without authorization."


Arab MKs expressed their indignation over Orlev's proposal. "This is simply madness, with a hint of racism," Hadash chairman Mohammad Barakeh said. "Orlev and Rotem are looking to push an agenda that would help them advance at the expense of the Arab public. We are not in the Knesset because someone did us a favor."


Labor MK Nadia Hilou said she opposed Orlev's proposal, as "every Arab citizen in the country has relatives in Arab states, and we cannot prevent these citizens from visiting their relatives.


"This proposal violates the right to vote and to get elected," she said. 


פרסום ראשון: 01.29.08, 13:32
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