Likud MK Avi Dichter who served as head of the Shin Bet from 2000 to 2005 and contributed to the elimination of the terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, on Sunday called on the right-wing opposition parties to put aside their battle with the Lapid-Bennett government when it comes to protecting Israel against the legalized infiltration of potentially subversive PA Arabs.
In an Israel Hayom op-ed headlined “The Solution to the Security Danger is a Basic Law on Immigration” (הפתרון לסכנה הביטחונית – חקיקת חוק יסוד ההגירה), MK Dichter wrote that the temporary law, which requires renewal every year, and which he was involved in promoting in 2003 “stipulates that, as a rule, Israeli citizenship will not be granted to a resident of Judea, Samaria or Gaza, as well as to a resident of the enemy states of Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.”
Dichter stressed that if not for that law, over the past 18 years Israeli governments would have been flooded with thousands of requests for residency based on family reunification – in accordance with the “Palestinian right of return” which is at the heart of the Arab and left-wing parties’ agenda.
As long as the Citizenship Law is not passed in the Knesset, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) intends to disqualify individually each of the requests for family unification that would land on her desk, Kan 11 News reported Sunday. Considering there are about 1,000 of those submitted to the interior ministry each year, and the fact that each one of Shaked’s decisions to disqualify could be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court (if not taken directly to the High Court of Justice) – this may be a gallant effort on the minister’s part, but she could end up spending all her resources on this fight.
“I was the head of the Shin Bet at the time,” Dichter recalled the years before the enactment of the 2003 law banning reunification of Israeli Arabs with their spouses from the liberated territories. “I remember well the wave of approvals of family reunification requests that the state was inevitably required to approve in the midst of the second Intifada. Some of those who came in through family reunification took part in severe suicide bombings and other attacks, taking advantage of their ability to move around Israel with a vehicle with yellow license plates and a blue ID card (both normative aspects of Israeli citizenship – DI). This is how the people who drove the suicide bomber to the Park Hotel in Netanya acted on the Seder eve of 2002, as did many other suicide bombers who killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis.”
The Passover massacre was a suicide bombing carried out by Hamas at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, on March 27, 2002, during the Passover Seder. Thirty civilians were killed in the attack and 140 injured. It was the deadliest attack against Israelis during the Second Intifada.
“The justified and correct desire to overthrow the current government must not bring down the dam that prevents the realization of the ‘right of return’ demand of the Arabs against the State of Israel and Jerusalem within it,” the Likud MK concluded. And while he agrees that Israel must have a sound immigration law that would integrate the aspect of preventing hostile Arabs from infiltrating into the country to unite with their Israeli spouses—instead of anchoring it with a temporary provision that must be renewed every year, “clearly, by July 6, 2021, the expiration date of this law’s extension, there is no chance that such a bill would pass in three readings,” Dichter argues.
And he warns: “If the amendment to the law is not extended for a certain period of time, the legal ramification would be that there is no longer a security risk when it comes to approving the reunification of families from enemy countries.
MK Dichter concludes, “We will topple this government without harming our existential pillar and the basic principle that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
Shaked said in a closed conversation last week that “We will bring the law to a vote again and again, even if it falls the first time, to embarrass the Likud and the opposition and show that they are responsible for repealing the law. We will bring it to a vote again and again if it falls in the Knesset this week.”