Knesset to pay retirement grant, monthly pension to traitor BisharaFormer 'Israeli-Arab' Knesset member Azmi Bishara (pictured, top left), who fled the country in April 2007 to avoid facing charges of treason for aiding Hezbullah in the summer of 2006 Second Lebanon War will be paid a one-time 'retirement grant' of NIS 193,000 (approximately $51,126) and a monthly pension of NIS 7,000 (approximately $1854) for the rest of his miserable life. He will not be entitled to NIS 8,406 in annual phone expenses nor to a free daily newspaper. Since he no longer lives in Israel, he wouldn't need those benefits anyway. (Link in Hebrew. Hat Tip: Shy Guy)
According to the report, Bishara was paid "hundreds of thousands" of dollars by Hezbullah intelligence agents in return for information he provided to them. No matter. He's still entitled to take something out of the hide of Israel's taxpayers as well. After all, he served in the Knesset since 1996.
There is a bill before the Knesset to bar any President, Minister or Knesset member who has been convicted of a serious crime that he committed while in office from collecting a pension, but Bishara fled the country without ever being charged, so even if that bill passes, it will not affect him. The bill is a private member's bill (Olmert would never allow such a bill through the coalition - he'd likely lose his pension!) proposed by Gilad Erdan of the Likud.
There are two other bills pending before the Knesset in this matter. One, proposed by Ruchama Avraham of Kadima, would allow the courts to revoke the pension benefits of any former Knesset member who was convicted of a crime having a prison sentence of more than three years, and the other, proposed by a group of 35 Knesset members led by Yisrael Beiteinu's David Rotem, would revoke the pension benefits of any former Knesset member who is suspected of 'security offenses.' Only the latter bill could affect Bishara, and it has not passed yet.