Former Balad chairman, ex-Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, will be able to keep getting his Knesset pension, the High Court of Justice ruled Monday.
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and the honorable Edna Arbel and Miriam Naor, further decided to deny the petition filed by Danny Danon, head of World Likud, demanding Bishara's Israeli citizenship be revoked; citing that since the constitutional proceedings in the matter have yet to be completed, the court was unable to weigh the matter.
Bishara resigned from the Knesset and fled Israel last year, after the defense establishment began investigating his possible involvement with Hizbullah operatives during the Second Lebanon War. No charges were ever filed against him.
In a recent legal brief submitted to the Knesset following several motions demanding the House revokes Bishara's pension rights, Knesset Legal Advisor Nurit Elstien negated the move, saying it harms Bishara's proprietary rights and therefore can be challenged in court.
Elstien's brief was prepared at the request of the Knesset House Committee, which has three motions demanding Bishara's rights be revoked before it.
The first motion, filed by MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), calls for the revocation of pension rights of any MK suspected of violating State security.
The other two motions, filed by MKs Yitzhak Levy, Effie Eitam and Zvi Hendel (National Union-National Religious Party), ask the committee to revoke only Bishara's pension; with one of them stipulating that they may be resumed should he make himself available for police questioning.
Sunday, Bishara published a statement on several international Arabic websites, in which he wrote, “I will not give up my citizenship, but if they want to take it, they can take it. I will not defend myself before the (Israeli High Court) on this issue, nor on the issue of my pension.”