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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jamal Zahalka’

13 More Balad Activists Arrested in Fraud Crackdown

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Police continued the crackdown on the Israeli-Arab Knesset party Balad Wednesday, arresting 13 additional suspects on suspicion of fraud. The arrests bring the number of Balad activists, lawyers and accountants arrested since Sunday to 36. No Balad Knesset members have been arrested.

The police suspect that the new detainees, all party activists, have been involved in a money laundering ring to defraud the Israeli government by misrepresenting the origin of millions of shekels (at least hundreds of thousands of US dollars). Balad reported the money to have been donated from hundreds of donors in Israel, but police suspect the funds were in fact received from other sources, both in Israel and abroad. Police have not provided further details.

Balad Party members allegedly committed a series of financial offenses, including money laundering, false reporting, forgery, receiving an object by deception under aggravated circumstances and numerous violations of the Political Parties Financing Law.

Balad is part of the Joint List faction in the Israeli parliament, a conglomeration of three Arab-majority parties, and describes itself as a “national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel.” The party is more (Arab) nationalistic than the dovish and socialist Hadash party and the Islamic religious United Arab List. Balad MK Hanin Zoabi participated in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza, and more recently called IDF soldiers “murderers” in the Knesset plenum.

In February, Zoabi and fellow Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas were suspended from all Knesset deliberations for four months for meeting with and honoring families of Palestinian terrorists.

The latest detainees are expected to be brought before courts in northern and central Israel to extend their remand. In addition, six of the 23 suspects arrested on Sunday will appear in court Wednesday and are expected to have their remands extended. The 17 remaining suspects will appear on Thursday.

The investigation was initiated several years ago following a report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira and approved by the previous Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, in keeping with the state attorney’s recommendation. The covert investigation was closely monitored by the state attorney’s office.

Balad officials denounced the crackdown Sunday as “political persecution.”

“This is a dangerous escalation and another stage in the campaign of political persecution against the Arab minority and its political movements,” said the party in a statement. “The real purpose is to silence Balad and harm its role as spearhead in the struggle against oppression and discrimination. Like in the past, this attempt will fail and the mountain will turn out to be a mouse.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Arab Primary Voters Dump Terror-Supporting MKs Zoabi, Ghattas

Friday, June 17th, 2016

MK Hanin Zoabi, whose National Democratic Assembly (Balad) party is one of the three partner factions making up the Joint Arab List, has been the most frequent candidate for removal both from the elections list and, as MK, from the plenum, as well as defendant in court, all owing to her vicious attacks on Israeli values and on Israeli public officials—including, most recently, cursing out and spitting on Arab police. Now, all who trust in the wisdom of the voters are entitled to a big high-five, as Zoabi has been pushed in the primaries for her faction’s list of Knesset candidates down to spot number 9, well outside the realistic expectations for the 21st Knesset, Makor Rishon reported Friday.

The Joint Arab List, which has one Jewish MK, is a new political creature, a coalition made up of four different parties whose only common denominator is the fact that they are Arab and appeal to the Arab Israeli voter. Hadash, the United Arab List, Balad, and Ta’al, which make up the third largest faction in the 20th Knesset, were, essentially, the brain child of then Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who pushed for a higher vote threshold, requiring that a list gain close to four seats before it can claim any of its seats. Realizing that the new rule could wipe out the bulk of the Arab representation in the Knesset, the four parties, with communists, business leaders, ultra-nationalists and religious zealots, found a way to unite in order to stay alive. Ironically, Liberman’s own party, Yisrael Beiteinu, barely made it past the same threshold.

With the four factions sharing the 13 seats they were granted by the voter, it is unlikely for any one of them to get more than three or four MKs, so that Zoabi’s failure to get enough votes for the third or fourth spot in her faction means a resounding demotion by her party members.

But Zoabi did relatively well compared with her fellow Balad MK Basel Ghattas, who shared with her a much slammed ceremony honoring the families of Jerusalem terrorists who had died while murdering Jews. Ghattas was dropped to the 23rd spot, which is political death in the reality of Arab politics.

Another demoted Balad leader, also member of the honor guard to the killers, is Jamal Zahalka, who landed the fifth spot, which would only get him a seat should the Joint Arab List pick up between 18 and 20 mandates, a feat that would necessarily require direct involvement from Mohammed himself, if not an even higher authority.

Anonymous members of the Joint List told Makor Rishon they were pleased with the choices of Balad voters, who replaced their fanatical leaders with seemingly more pragmatic ones, including a woman, Nibin Abu Rahmoun, at the top of the list. The latest choices could revitalize the Balad faction as well as the entire Knesset list, possibly attracting one or two additional seats.

With MK Ghattas’ resounding defeat Balad voters have severed their ties to his uncle, former MK Azmi Bishara, who back in 2007 resigned from the Knesset through the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, following police investigation into his treasonous activities, aiding the enemy during wartime, passing information on to the enemy and contacts with a foreign agent, as well as laundering money received from foreign sources. With that shameful legacy out of the way, the new faces in Balad could devote themselves to improving the quality of life for Israeli Arabs.

David Israel

Netanyahu Tells Knesset He Wants ‘Broader Government,’ Herzog: Stop Zigzagging

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

During Monday’s special plenary session honoring the memory of Theodor Herzl, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) said, “I wonder what Herzl would have said had he seen the massive construction, the building of roads, the economic growth, the absorption of immigration, the scientific innovations and the fact that the state of the Jews discovered gas at sea and will extract it for the benefit of its citizens.”

“I met today with the French Prime Minister and stressed that [the Israeli] government wants peace,” Netanyahu also said, relating, “I told him that I seek to move forward in the diplomatic process on the basis of the outline of a demilitarized Palestinian state which recognizes the Jewish state. [But] the two principles of demilitarization and mutual recognition are not preconditions for the opening of negotiations. The process must be direct, bilateral and devoid of international dictates.”

“I am working with all my power to expand the coalition,” the PM told the Plenum, speaking as he did on the eve of signing a new deal with MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu to join his coalition government, expanding it from 61 to 67 members. “I said I would do so when we established the government, and I am continuing with these efforts to form a government that is as broad as possible. The door is open to anyone who wants to [join] for the good of the country. There is much to do and a lot to fix, but there is no justification for the complaining that is rampant in certain circles. Israel is a stable, advanced, innovative and democratic state, and this House is proof of that.”

Following the Prime Minister’s speech, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp – Labor) addressed last week’s political storm in which many have depicted him as being used by Netanyahu for leverage to bring in Lieberman. “During the past couple of weeks I have stood upright against unprecedented attacks, against an incited crowd and against violent exclamations which I have never heard before,” Herzog complained, adding, realisticly, “It is possible that I have jeopardized my political seat, and have shaken it so much that it will be difficult to stabilize. But as opposed to other leaders – I did not join politics to pass the time. In an era where leaders change their minds according to the morning wind blowing on Facebook, I have chosen to stick to my words.”

Herzog’s poison arrow was shot unambiguously at MK Shelly Yachimovich, the former Labor chairwoman Herzog had unseated, whom he nicknamed “Princes of Facebook,” for her frequent—albeit effective and biting—posts.

“In the past couple of months, due to the terror wave and the futile feeling which characterizes the relationship with our neighbors, I have tried to evaluate the situation [based on the statements] of senior leaders from around the world and our region,” Herzog continued to make his case. “Some may seem familiar to you and some less, some are part of the senior leadership of the area and some are younger, whose names cannot be revealed yet. These leaders have a crucial influence over our fate, the fate of our families and children. I wanted with all my might to identify the glimpse of light in the darkness. I have reached the conclusion that we are facing a rare regional opportunity based on a group of Arab leaders who are moderate, young, powerful and lack the Israel complex that their predecessors have had, and who are willing to take action and lead a powerful and stirring process against our neighbors.”

“I have chosen to risk my internal political status and extend a hand to the rival political leader about whom I have said during the elections – ‘it’s either us or him’ – in order to recruit all possible national power and together change the present and the future of our children,” Herzog continued his gallant attempt to explain his abysmal failure in negotiating with his “rival political leader.”

“I know I have let down many of my supporters, my colleagues and friends and a broad public that did not believe Netanyahu in the first place, but I had decided anyhow to not let the opportunity slip away as it stands right in front of our eyes and depends upon Israel having a different, more moderate, government. That is the condition. I chose to give it a try,” Herzog stated.

“Sadly, at the end of the day, while choosing between being a leader that will be remembered in history as going against the flow, and a leader that goes with the flow into the ocean of forgetfulness, Netanyahu has made his choice,” Herzog lamented. “He has slammed the door on the European and American leaders and became a captive of the extremist political group which will lead him and us into a national disaster which we are already a part of, and some of us decide to live in the illusion that everything will be fine.”

In this context, Herzog did not explain how a 55% majority of the House can be considered “extremist” while the remaining 45% are the proverbial moderates. In effect, he described anyone on the right as extremist, while anyone on the left, including the Joint Arab List’s MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas, who stood at attention in honor of Arab terrorists killed by Israel, are part of the moderate center.

“I am sorry Mr. Netanyahu that you have chosen to zigzag again,” said Herzog, whose zigzagging during the 2015 campaign included landing MK Tzipi Livni and five colleagues in top spots on his party’s candidates list, and changing the party name from the traditional—and honest—Labor to Zionist Camp, which includes renowned Zionist MK Zouheir Bahloul, who declared earlier this year that Arab attacks on IDF soldiers manning check posts are not acts of terror. “I am sorry that you are the one who slammed the door,” said Herzog, who had fled the negotiations when he finally realized Netanyahu had been double-dealing with Lieberman. “I am sorry that you have chosen to abandon the benefit of the State in favor of your narrow political interest. Your Twitter may remember you favorably, but history won’t.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who opened the House debate, said, “We have a serious problem with the culture of argument here; with the ability to listen, which has deteriorated [greatly]; with the lack of respect, the blatant contempt and the obscene language. Our ideological and cultural richness is a source of uniqueness and strength, but we all have a lot of work to do in order to narrow the artificial gaps between us which some make certain are nurtured, because, truthfully, we have more things in common than things that separate us.”

“A [government] is also judged by its ability to bridge the gaps between positions and converge in order to better serve the public,” Edelstein said, concluding, “Therefore, there was no other choice but to work towards expanding the coalition. The first step in this direction should be welcomed, and I hope additional Zionist parties will join. We must stand together, better and more united, in front of the great challenges facing us. This is an important message, internally, for the Israeli public, and also externally, for all those who are eagerly waiting to see our internal disintegration – God forbid.”

MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said “Herzl envisioned a state with equal rights for women at a time when such a notion was almost avant-garde. He wrote that every citizen will be obligated to give two years for military or civil service and that religious coercion would be forbidden. He spoke of the need for a clean country that would protect the environment. He wrote about a country where education is free for everyone, where there is a clear separation between the military and politics; a state that is technologically advanced. He believed that the Arabs of the land are entitled to equal rights.”

OK, that last part, about Herzl advocating for Palestinian rights is a bit of a stretch. As Ernst Pawel noted (The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life Of Theodor Herzl, Farrar, Straus, Giroux), “His attitude toward the indigenous population was one of benign indifference at best. He never questioned the popular view of colonialism as a mission of mercy that brought the blessings of civilization to stone-age savages… He fully believed that the Palestine Arabs would welcome the Jews with open arms; after all, they only stood to gain from the material and technological progress imported by the Jews.”

Some things never change.

JNi.Media

Knesset Arabs in Split Over Condemnation of Be’er Sheva Attack

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) There’s a rupture in the Knesset Joint Arab List, as members of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad) group within the faction objected to the wording of the faction’s official condemnation of last Sunday’s terrorist attack in the Beer Sheva central bus station, because, as they put it, it’s inappropriate to condemn the victim, the newspaper Kul al-Arab reported Tuesday. As a result, the NDA MKs—Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas—did not participate in drafting the statement of condemnation.

Despite the NDA’s opposition, the Joint List published a statement condemning the attack. Israel Radio noted that the NDA members have been boycotting the Knesset faction’s meetings because of their opposition to the appointment of Masud Ganaim as faction leader. The NDA want their own Basel Ghattas to receive the appointment by rotation.

Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government has been going about declaring the International Muslim Brothers illegal in Israel, after it has been discovered that they are the main funding source for the northern branch of the Islamic movement, which is in the process of being declared illegal.

At the Monday cabinet meeting, Shin Bet representatives presented information showing that the father of the terrorist who carried out the attack in Be’er Sheva the day before is active in the Islamic Movement. Netanyahu intends dry the Islamists’ financial resources, and later declare them illegal.

Meanwhile, Interior Ministry’s findings suggest that many of the perpetrators of recent attacks who carry blue, Israeli identity cards, were able to live in Israel as a result family reunification, a kind of olive-branch project heralded by many Israeli governments as an example of their wish for peace. This might change in light of the evidence.

JNi.Media

Israel Arab Mayor Complains: Terror Chasing Away Jews

Monday, October 12th, 2015

The Arab mayor of the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth has raised his voice against the recent wave of terror that he says is ruining his city by chasing away Jews.

Mayor Ali Salaam told Globes:

I’ve been knee-deep in trouble. On an ordinary Saturday, 20,000-30,000 Jews visit Nazareth, and there wasn’t a Jew in the city yesterday.

They [Arab businessmen] make millions on Friday and Saturday, at least NIS 10 million [$2.6 million], and they didn’t make a cent yesterday. Restaurants were closed, businesses were closed. They came to me in the municipality and wept. We have to work several months in order to bring back commerce back to the city.

The recent escalation in Palestinian Authority violence has spread to the heart of urban areas in Israel, including Kiryat Gat, home to a giant Intel factory and a normally quiet city north of Be’er Sheva, Afula in the north and metropolitan Tel Aviv.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has lashed out at Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for stoking the coals of terror, Arab Knesset Members have been openly inciting Arabs with Israeli citizenship. The Prime Minister has targeted MK Haneen Zoabi for investigation for violating laws, but there is no shortage of other openly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel Arab MKs.

The most vocal of them is Jamal Zahalka, who has preached against any connection between Jews and the Temple Mount, called Israel an Aparthied state and who has illegally visited the enemy states of Lebanon and Syria without being indicted.

Salam said of Arab MKs:

They staged a parade, and after the parade, they left the young people, who started throwing stones and burning things….. Each time, somebody else is responsible for the destruction. We can’t have everyone coming to make a parade in Nazareth. The business owners want to demonstrate against what’s happening.

Most of the MKs want to come for the publicity, to be seen and photographed. I’m sick and tired of them. Let them do something for the benefit of the people who voted for them.

I told [MK] Ayman Udeh, ‘Get out of here. I don’t want you to come to Nazareth. You’ve destroyed my city.’

The mayor said that the violence is not only bad for his city but also “is not good for the country.”

A Ben Gurion University professor from Umm el-Fahm, the northern Israeli city that is the home to the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement, told Israel Radio (Reshet Bet) Monday that “95 percent of the people” are against the violence.

Unlike Israeli Jews, the Arab sector is not prone to public discussion, especially when it comes to voicing different opinions and attitudes towards Israel.

Radical Islamists have filled the vacuum and have monopolized public platforms.

The JewishPress.com previously has reported that even in the Palestinian Authority, the rank and file Arabs are interested in making a living more than being part of a new Arab country where they know that corrupt leaders will treat them as third-class citizens.

However, the Palestinian Authority agenda of preaching hate and incitement against Jews for more than 20 years has nurtured an entire generation that knows nothing of the stark improvement of the quality of life after the Jordanian occupation, and as well as the Egyptian rule over Gaza, ended with the Six-Day War in 1967.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Monday that efforts are being made to define as illegal the Islamic Movement, which in the past several years has recruited tens of thousands of Bedouin in the Negev.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

7 Palestinian Arabs Arrested in Temple Mount Violence

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Israel Police have arrested seven suspects in connection with Arab violence perpetrated at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, according to spokesperson Luba Samri.

The arrests were made in connection with rioting on Monday, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Palestinian Arabs at the site threw stones, firebombs (Molotov cocktails), firecrackers and other ammunition at police.

The Arabs hurled their ammunition from within their barricade inside the Al Aqsa mosque, which is located within the grounds of the Temple Mount compound.

Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka joined Palestinian Arab demonstrators Tuesday morning at the Temple Mount, together with fellow Israeli Arab Mks Massoud Ghanayem and Abdel Hakim Hajj to further heat up protestor passions at the site.

Video footage filmed by the Hebrew-language NRG news site documented Zahalka’s attempt to block Jewish visitors from entering the grounds, and vicious curses and other remarks to the visitors and to the police who were protecting them.

As does every other Israeli parliamentarian, Zahalka and the other Mks who came to join the rioting against Jewish visitors and Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount, are supported by Israeli tax money.

Under the current laws, no matter how or when they complete their terms of service, they will each receive generous severance payments and subsequently continue to receive liberal pensions for the rest of their lives.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Jerusalem police arrested a 15-year-old terrorist-in-training after he was caught throwing stones at a bus.

Upon searching the teen police discovered the youth was also carrying brass knuckles and individual gas cylinders. Individual gas cylinders are often used as fuel for firebombs (Molotov cocktails) and sometimes for other types of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

The young terror suspect was taken to a police station for questioning.

Hana Levi Julian

Feiglin Bans Arab MK from Podium for Calling Him ‘Fascist’

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Knesset guards forcibly removed an Arab Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka from the podium Monday evening on orders from Acting Speaker Moshe Feiglin for calling him a “fascist.”

For good measure, Zahalka added that considering he was talking about Feiglin, the word fascist was a “compliment.”

The guards removed him from the chamber, but Feiglin, remaining the parliamentarian, told them he only ordered that Zahalka be taken away from the podium. As he returned to the chamber, pandemonium broke out in the circus, and everyone had a good time shouting at each other.

Other Arab MKs and Labor MK Shelley Yechomovich rushed towards the podium to protest Feiglin’s action, which he said he carried out according to the Knesset code.

Prior to Zahalka’s “fascist” comments, Feiglin had evicted Hadash party Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh from the Knesset for telling Feiglin he should “be choked.”

The mayhem revolved around the  daily circus’ event of the day, a no-confidence motion over the “Jewish State Bill” that would define Israel as a Jewish state.

Zahalka managed to get in a few words against the idea, quoting Jewish philosopher Hanna Arendt, who fled the Nazis and lived in the United States and railed against the idea or re-establishing the State of Israel because it would make Arabs second-class citizens.

Zahalka said Arendt used the term “Palestinians,” prompting Feiglin to interrupt and ask him if that was the actual word she used.

Zahalka replied that she indeed said “Palestinians” and then began to lecture Feiglin that he should read the source and perhaps “learn something.” He said Arendt was anti-fascist, but he turned to Feiglin and called him a fascist.

The acting speaker, in his usual calm manner, said that Zahalka could not continue speaking, but he ignored or didn’t even hear Feiglin. Within seconds, the guards came to remove him, and he went into a rage, grabbing the podium to resist his ouster.

Can a Knesset Member called another MK a “fascist”? Can he call him a “Nazi”?

Or how about “dirty Jew?”

Or “dirty Arab?”

Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog sharply criticized Feiglin for removing Zahalka from the podium, accusing him of violating “freedom of thought and democracy.”

What would he had said if Feiglin had called an Arab MK a “terrorist?

The video of the Knesset show is in Hebrew but that shouldn’t keep anyone from understanding what happened.

The action starts at two minutes in the video.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/feiglin-bans-arab-mk-from-podium-for-calling-him-fascist/2014/11/25/

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