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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gag order partially lifted - Bishara aided Hezbullah during the war

The gag order against disclosure has been partially lifted, and the charges against 'Israeli Arab' MK Azmi Bishara include treason: Bishara is accused of aiding Hezbullah in last summer's war. And that's not all:
Bishara is accused of aiding an enemy during wartime, transmitting information to an enemy, contact with a foreign agent, violations of money-laundering laws, and more. He is under suspicion of having received a large amount of money for his acts, some of which occurred during last year's Second War in Lebanon. The former MK allegedly pocketed the money in his personal bank account.

A Petach Tikva court partially lifted the gag-order on the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon. The court plans to allow publication of the full story within a week.

Ex-MK Bishara, who was questioned by police twice in the past, told his interrogators that he plans to leave the country, but would return for a continued investigation. After leaving the country last month, friends now say it is not certain whether he plans to return in the near future. He has surfaced in Jordan, Qatar and Egypt, and his family returned to Israel last week.

Bishara's resignation, submitted to the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Sunday, went into effect yesterday (Tuesday).
Most of the articles in the Israeli media focus on recouping the perks for which Bishara is currently eligible as a resigned Knesset member, including the NIS 72,000 annual pension (approximately US$17,000). It seems obvious that those perks should be withdrawn, but while going after him for tax law violations might be a good way of recouping some of the bribes he took, I don't think that's the point and I don't think it should be the focus of Israel's efforts. Nor do I agree with Baruch Marzel who
demands that the Attorney General outlaw Bishara's political party, Balad. "The Attorney General must correct the injustice that was done when our pleas [to outlaw Balad] were not answered," Marzel said, noting that the Israeli political system outlawed Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach party in the 1980's.
Maybe - probably - almost definitely - Balad ought to be banned, but that's not really the point either. I'd like to look at three other reactions (all from the Arutz Sheva report - the other media didn't even focus on this):
MK Yoel Hason (Kadima) said he will work to establish a Knesset inquiry committee into the former Knesset Member's behavior and the grave suspicions against him. "Today the true face of Israel's greatest traitor has been revealed," Hason said. "The Knesset must investigate, and must decide regarding security clearances for all MKs, and for Arab-party MKs in particular."
Complete nonsense. A Knesset committee will be nothing but a three-ring circus and publicity stunt. And you can bet that the other Arab MK's and leftist Knesset members will rally to Bishara's defense and scream that we cannot taint all 'Israeli Arabs' with the stain of treason - just like leftists in the US screamed after 9/11 that all Muslims are not terrorists (that's true, but nearly all terrorists seem to be Muslims, and that fact needs to be confronted). It would play beautifully on the nightly news in the US and Europe - and would be twisted to make Israel look like a fascist state.
A Yisrael Beiteinu party statement reads: "Azmi Bishara is not the problem, but rather its display window. Bishara and his friends have long crossed the red line, but the State has hidden its head in the sand. Our party tried in the past to prevent the entry of the Trojan horse into the Knesset..."
That's also true, except that Yisrael Beiteinu is burying its own head in the sand by continuing to sit in a government that has appointed an 'Israeli-Arab' minister who refuses to sing Hatikva - the country's national anthem - on nationalistic grounds and that proposes to give the 'Palestinians' more land and a state reichlet. National Religious Party MK Zevulun Orlev comes the closest to getting the right answer:
Orlev ... said that Bishara "must be caught, wherever he is in the world, and brought to Israel on charges of treason." Some instances of treason during wartime, as well as Nazi war crimes, are the only crimes punishable by death under Israeli law.
Israel doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to give Bishara the death penalty. But I think that the intelligence services need to know what information Bishara gave to Hezbullah (and to the Syrians and the 'Palestinians') and then the country needs to lock him up and throw away the key.

And then we need to think rationally and outside the box about how to keep treasonous Arab MK's out of the Knesset.

Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D was reviled by the Israeli left, because he used to taunt them that Israel could either be a Jewish state or a democracy but not both. Not without transferring the Arab fifth column out of the country (which would leave Israel as a Jewish state). Not without persuading them to leave. One thing the Bishara case does prove is that it's not just about land or murdering Jews. It's also about money. While we're spending money buying land and buildings that hopefully will house Jews one day, we need to spend some money to get those Arabs who are not willing to live in peace with us, and who continue to send the likes of Bishara to the Knesset as their representatives, to leave the country permanently. Maybe Shimon Peres was on to something when he said that if the Arabs had more money they would be willing to live in peace with us. Except that it can apparently only have a chance of happening outside Israel.


At 6:01 PM, Blogger JoeSettler said...

If you read JoeSettler regularly you would have already known about the charges, or been better able to put them into perspective.

As for Arab MKs refusing to sing Hatikva, that's small fry.

btw: Where we aren't competing, you got my vote in the JIBS

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Thanks. You got mine too .

At 8:55 PM, Blogger JoeSettler said...

Moshe Feiglin had a great line as reported in the JP:

Right-wing activist Moshe Feiglin called Bishara "an Arabic patriot" and said that "like any normal person, his loyalty is to his people and not to his enemy. Bishara is no different in his loyalty than any of his compatriots, except for the fact that what he did, he did in the public eye."

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


R. Kahane used to make that comment all the time. He used to follow it by saying that the Arabs are not as stupid as we think they are.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I saw Kahane speak at least a half dozen times. It was an experience.


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