November 30, 2005

Arab MKs less equal than others

Here's an article in Ha'aretz from a couple of days ago demonstrating that the presence of Arab members in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) does not make Israel the democracy that zionists make it out to be.
According to the logic that has been guiding attorneys general (Elyakim Rubinstein and Menachem Mazuz) for several years now, Arab MKs are not allowed to do what journalists, arms dealers and exporters are allowed to do - namely, maintain contact with "an enemy country." At present, MK Azmi Bishara is being tried for visiting Syria and Lebanon, and making declarations considered to be incitement there, according to the prosecution. Moreover, Mazuz is considering filing an indictment for "entry to an enemy country" against MK Ahmed Tibi, and inviting MK Taleb al-Sana, who recently visited Damascus, to a police investigation.
So much for democracy but what about peace?
A country that claims that it is pursuing peace not only should not punish such activity, but should welcome it and encourage any contact among the nations. The attorney general and the Shin Bet should stop the campaign against the Arab MKs, cancel the lawsuit against Azmi Bishara, and refrain in the future from indicting any MK who travels in similar circumstances, in the context of fulfilling his public mission.
It's lucky that Israel now has a centrist Prime Minister.

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