'Zahalka, Zoabi and Bishara met in Qatar. That's not the beginning of a joke. That really happened!'exiled former Balad party MK Azmi Bishara.
On Sunday, a Balad spokesman said the party's three MKs, Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Bassel Ghattas, went to Qatar for media appearances, though they appeared on the Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera several times from Israel in recent weeks.Last month, Zoabi was banned from all Knesset activities except voting for six months after she made statements in support of Hamas.
The spokesman also did not confirm or deny reports they met with Balad founder Azmi Bishara, who fled from Israel and resigned from the Knesset in 2007 as he was under investigation for giving information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.
[Transportation Minister Yisrael] Katz said that he amended the law to make it illegal for people who support terrorism to run for the Knesset and he had Bishara and Balad banned from running, via the Central Election Committee, but the Supreme Court overturned the vote.
"I am now preparing a new petition against Zoabi and Balad and I hope the Supreme Court won't intervene this time," he added.
Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud) wrote a letter to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein asking that he investigate the MKs' visit to Qatar and ban their party.
"It is the right thing to do to investigate MKs Zahalke, Zoabi and Ghattas who traveled to the land of terrorism, especially when we know that all of the terrorism is funded by Qatar's leaders and that the heads of Hamas live in Qatar, where they are defended," Regev wrote.
"There is legal precedent for this in Israel. We cannot forget former MK Bishara, who was a traitor to the state and lived in Qatar, the shelter for terrorists," Regev added.
MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) said he plans to complain to the Knesset Ethics Committee about the Balad MKs, in order to examine who paid for their trip to Qatar.
On Sunday, the Balad spokesman said the MKs paid for their own trip.
"Three Balad MKs visiting the terrorism sponsor Qatar, which funds Hamas, and their meeting with the fugitive spy Azmi Bishara, is further proof of their activity that is hostile to the State of Israel, which they are supposed to represent," Miller said.
The only way to stop this behavior is to ban from the Knesset the parties that do it. There's a law on the books that allows the Central Elections Committee to ban parties that don't accept Israel as a 'Jewish and democratic state,' but the only time the Leftist Supreme Court has ever upheld the ban was when it was invoked against Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D (May God Avenge his blood) and his Kach party, which was claimed to be anti-democratic.