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May 7, 2016 / 29 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘MK’

Arab MK Describes Terrorists As “Precious Sons”

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

One of the three Arab MKs who visited the families of terrorists last Tuesday who had murdered or attempted to murder Israeli civilians during the recent wave of violence attempted to justify the actions of the terrorists on Palestinian television yesterday.

Basel Ghattas was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch during an interview on Palestinian TV in which he appeared to demonstrate that the visit had more to do with supporting the terrorists than merely securing the release of their bodies as originally stated by the three MKs who visited the families.

“The day Arab MPs abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families who have lost their precious sons in the turmoil of the struggle against the oppressive occupation – they did not go to kill or attempt to kill for criminal reasons or illegally – the day we abstain from visiting Martyrs’ families, we will have to vacate our [parliamentary] chairs and leave the keys at home,” Ghattas said.

Originally, the three Arab MKs from the Joint List who visited the families sought to justify their visits by claiming that they were standing with the families in support of their campaign to pressure the Israeli government into releasing the terrorists’ bodies.

Indeed, following a decision taken by the Ethics Committee on Monday which banned Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas from Knesset sessions and Jamal Zahalka for two months, the three issued a joint statement rejecting the decision and restated their primary goal being “the immediate release of the bodies held by the police even after this decision.”

Moreover, Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh also attempted to justify the visits on humanitarian grounds. “The meeting last week was humanitarian and moral. The bodies [of the terrorists] must be released and buried immediately. We must also denounce the Israeli government, which is holding the bodies in freezers,” he said at a Joint List meeting.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Bayit Yehudi’s Yinon Magal Announces Resignation from Knesset

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Knesset member Yinon Magal of the Bayit Yehudi party has announced he will resign from his post due to allegations of sexual harassment. Magal has already resigned as head of his party’s faction in the Knesset.

Magal informed party chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett – who is currently in the United States – of his intentions. He added that he is sure he is not liable for criminal charges, but understands that people were hurt by his behavior.

Bennett has expressed his support for the move, and issued a statement saying: “I hope the process he is in will end as quickly as possible so he can be dedicated to his family and continue on his way.”

Allegations surfaced last week on social media that Magal had made unwanted advances to a writer for Walla! News after resigning from his post as editor-in-chief at the website last year. The incident came to light after the writer wrote a detailed Facebook post about it.

“First of all, I want to apologize,” Magal said in a statement last Tuesday. “There are things that were said between friends before I became a Knesset member and I would not repeat them today. I want to ask for forgiveness from anyone I hurt. At the same time, I would expect that a friend who I hurt to tell me, and not to turn to shaming on social media.”

Some of the comments Magal reportedly said at the “goodbye party” held for him when he left the website for politics, as described by the writer, were quite explicit.

Magal has not yet officially resigned from the Knesset. Police are beginning to launch an investigation into the allegations, however, under the direct supervision of the head of Assistant Chief Meni Yitzchaki, head of the Investigations and Intelligence Branch of Israel Police.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Cabinet Passes “Norwegian Law” Bill

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The Israeli government passed a modified version of the “Norwegian Law” bill on Sunday, as demanded by Bayit Yehudi in the coalition agreements. The law will go to the Knesset on Monday for a fast-tracked vote. It will require 61 votes to pass, as opposed to a simple majority, since it will be changing a “Basic Law.”

The original version of the law required that all government ministers from the smaller parties (less than 12 seats) quit their Knesset legislative positions, allowing other members from each’s party’s list to enter the Knesset.

The modified version that passed allows for a single minister or deputy minister (relevant to the Hareidi UTJ party which only has deputy ministers) from each of the parties to quit, allowing for a new MK to enter the Knesset in the minister’s place, including from the larger parties, such as the Likud.

Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beyteinu, which is sitting in the opposition, is expected to support the Knesset vote.

The advantage of the law, is that at least some government ministers will not be distracted by full-time legislative Knesset duties and will be able to concentrate on their full-time executive positions.

In the current government, approximately one-third of the 120 MKs double as ministers or deputy ministers.

Ministers and deputy ministers can’t be members of various Knesset Committees, so this will allow more coalition members to participate in Knesset groups. Currently the few MKs who are coalition members, but not ministers, are sitting on more committees than they can reasonably handle.

It will also bring some new faces into the Knesset, who won’t be distracted from their legislative duties by having cabinet positions.

The downside, is that it appears that once a minister quit the Knesset, there’s no going back to the Knesset if their party quits the coalition or if they get fired.

Five ministers and deputy ministers are expected to take advantage of the law.

Shalom Bear

High Court Rules Zoabi and Marzel Can Return to Election Race [election]

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Israel’s High Court has ruled that Israeli Arab candidate Balad MK Hanin Zoabi can run for re-election — despite her numerous statements, and actions, in support of terrorists from the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, the Court ruled Israel’s electoral authority must also allow Yachad candidate Baruch Marzel to run in the country’s national election on March 17 as well.

A panel of nine judges voted 8-1 in favor of reinstating both, with Deputy Supreme Court President Elyakim Rubenstein as the sole dissenting justice. The decision on the matter was moved up due to the proximity of the election.

Zoabi had been disqualified from running for the Balad Knesset seat by an overwhelming majority of the Central Elections Committee. This is the second time the High Court has overturned such a decision; a similar move took place just prior to the election of 2013.

Adalah NGO attorney Hassan Jabareen argued before the Court that all six statements attributed to the Balad MK that were used to disqualify her from running would “fall apart” once they were “placed into context.” Zoabi, he said, would be found to exhibit a record of consistent opposition to violence once her statements were examined, despite her statements in support of the Palestinian Authority.

Considering the law – and only the law – meant Zoabi’s recent six-month suspension by the Knesset also had no bearing on the case, he added. The MK’s recent visit to Qatar likewise was ruled a non-issue, inasmuch as Qatar is not considered an enemy state: Israel and Qatar actually do trade with each other.

Although the state described the MK’s conduct as “very troubling” it found that in principle it was forced to agree with Jabareen that there was no legal basis for her disqualification.

Nevertheless, attorney Yoav Mani, arguing for Yisrael Beytenu, warned the Court was setting the bar at an unreachable “high” in terms of the standard for evidence for disqualification. “When do you decide that enough is enough?” he asked. It was not about what the MK would do, Mani said – “say you’re against [her views] because they’re against who we are!”

Arguments for and against the disqualification of Baruch Marzel, candidate for the Yachad faction, were equally fierce.

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir argued – as had Zoabi’s lawyer – that Marzel’s statements had largely been taken out of context, and in some cases “he didn’t say them at all!”

He also contended that saying “Kahane was right” did not constitute a crime, nor did it violate the standard for election law violation. Marzel, once a member and leader in the banned “Kach” movement, had changed over the years, Ben-Gvir argued – but public and court opinion may not take that into account, with memory casting its long shadows back into the past instead.

A statement by Marzel made after an attack on a Jerusalem school that focuses efforts on co-existence was examined: the Court questioned its “anti-Arab” tone while Ben-Gvir said the intent was an expression of doubt that co-existence is possible today.

As with Zoabi, Rubinstein dissented, saying it seems likely Marzel has not changed at all. “If it walks and talks like a duck, why isn’t it a duck?” the judge asked.

Nevertheless, both candidates, seen as extremists by each others’ constituencies, are back in the race and will run for election with their parties on March 17.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Attack the Goose, Hold Sauce for the Gander

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Two parallel incidents in Israel have had completely different results, despite sharing nearly identical details.

Kiryat Ono Mayor Israel Gal was attacked Sunday evening by a man who said the mayor did not keep a promise he allegedly made to him.

Police said the suspect pushed the mayor immediately following a council meeting in the town. The suspect was detained following his arrest.

He was to be brought before the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court for a determination on whether and how long to extend his remand.

A second Israeli political leader was also attacked this week as well.

Bayit Yehudi Knesset member Shuli Moalem-Refaeli was attacked by a screaming Muslim Arab woman while she was touring the Temple Mount.

The attacker shouted “Allah huAkbar!” (Allah is Great!) And then physically shoved the Israeli parliamentarian.

Police arrested the Arab woman and brought her to the local precinct for questioning, according to Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld.

But after that point, the flow of information mysteriously stops and it is impossible to determine what happened to the female Muslim Arab attacker after that.

Was she detained following her arrest? Or is she now free to be able to continue to harass other Jewish visitors to the site?

The Israel Police spokesperson was unable to provide any answer to these questions, saying he did not know but would “check it out.” It has been impossible to reach the spokesperson ever since.

Israelis have the right to feel safe from threats to their personal safety and that of their leaders.

It is not clear to this writer why the consequences of any attack by either Muslim or Jew, male or female, should be shrouded in mystery.

Nor is it clear why the story of one attack and its consequences should be so crystal clear that it merits nearly no interest at all, and yet the same standard of law somehow fails to be applied in the capital city, barely an hour away.

I would have thought that the sauce for the goose surely has to be good for the gander, but perhaps that rigid standard applies only in “anglo” countries abroad.

Or perhaps with regard to Arab attacks, Israel is holding off on the sauce altogether these days.

Hana Levi Julian

Knesset Upholds Suspension of Balad MK Zoabi

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Israeli lawmakers across the spectrum voted 68-16 Wednesday to uphold a six-month ban imposed in July against Balad MK Hanin Zoabi on all legislative activity except voting.

Zoabi tried to appeal the ban on Wednesday, three months after being suspended by the Knesset Ethics Committee for incitement.

Numerous lawmakers – including Speaker Yuli Edelstein – filed complaints with the Committee about Zoabi’s support for Hamas rocket attacks against the State of Israel during Operation Protective Edge, and her statement that the Hamas abduction and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens was not terrorism.

Zoabi has since traveled to Qatar – an enemy state which supports Hamas and its founding entity, the Muslim Brotherhood – and met with Balad party founder, former MK Azmi Bishara.

Bishara fled Israel as he was being investigated possible acts of espionage on behalf of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

In 2010, Zoabi also participated in the illegal flotilla attempt to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza, by joining terror activists from Turkey aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara vessel. The flotilla was stopped by the IDF in international waters.

The following year she was banned from the Knesset for two months after physically attacking an usher for trying to remove her from the hall when she refused to go when ordered to do so.

The Israeli Arab lawmaker, who has consistently maintained a position as a representative of the Palestinian Authority Arab population – rather than that of an Arab Israeli – insisted in her appeal that she had the right to free speech.

“I speak to you as someone proud of being a daughter of this land,” Zoabi began. “There was not, and there will not be a person who can turn me, or my nation, into guests or strangers here.”

Zoabi said she knew it is hard for some Mks to hear her express her views or even to see her walk through the halls of the Knesset. But, she said, it is equally hard for her to see Arabs treated as the enemy.

The real issue, she said, is the difference in perspective: “You are annoyed that I use the words ‘occupation and war crimes” but it is the actual occupation and war crimes that trouble me the most.”

She was interrupted by an agitated Labor MK, Itzik Shmueli, who shouted that she crossed the line in speaking in such a way about Israeli soldiers, freedom of speech notwithstanding.

Shmueli, who refused to quiet down, was removed from the Knesset hall by Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Further pushing the point, Zoabi added, “Yes, I crossed the lines of consensus – a warlike, aggressive, racist, populist, chauvinist, arrogant consensus.

“I must cross those lines. I am no Zionist, and that is within my legal right.

“I am a Palestinian, born in this land. Any person who supports the decision of the committee [against me] is against justice, equality and freedom of speech, and supports political persecution.

“Whoever stands silent joins the racists who do not want representation for the Arabs!”

Hana Levi Julian

Bill Introduced to Strip MK Hanin Zoabi of Citizenship

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The Yisrael Beytenu Knesset faction introduced a law on Wednesday to strip Knesset members of their parliamentary seat, and their citizenship, if they are found to have backed and endorsed terrorism.

The move is aimed at Israeli Arab Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, who has expressed pro-Hamas views from the podium of the Knesset and in 2010 joined a foreign anti-Israel flotilla aimed at breaking the counter terrorism blockade of Gaza. Zoabi is being investigated in connection with her incessant anti-Israel incitement and possibly treasonous actions, particularly in wartime.

In the past, her predecessor in the same political party, Israeli Arab MK Azmi Bishara, was under investigation for similar activities and was about to be charged with treason when he fled the country.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bill-introduced-to-strip-mk-hanin-zoabi-of-citizenship/2014/07/24/

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