Until the Arab Parties Abandon Their Hatred of Israel, They Don’t Belong in the Government

March 17 2020

On Sunday, thanks in part to the recommendations of the Knesset’s Arab bloc, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin tasked Benny Gantz, the leader of the centrist Blue and White party, with forming a new government. While Arab parties have sat in the Knesset for years, they have never taken part in a governing coalition. Efraim Karsh and Gershon Hacohen argue that Arab parliamentarians’ rejection of Israel as a Jewish state, and support for its enemies, should disqualify them from doing so:

[W]hen in 1965 the Central Elections Committee disqualified the Arab Socialist list, . . . which rejected Israel’s very existence, from running for the Knesset, the Supreme Court ratified that measure under the doctrine of “defensive democracy.”

Since then, and especially after the launch of the Oslo “peace process” in 1993, Israel’s Arab parties have undergone massive radicalization. Ignoring legislation forbidding unauthorized visits by Israelis to enemy states, Azmi Bishara, the founding leader of the ultranationalist Balad party (with seats in the Israeli parliament since 1999), traveled to Damascus to commemorate the death of Hafez al-Assad, one of Israel’s most implacable enemies, from where he implored the Arab states to enable anti-Israel “resistance activities,” expressed admiration for Hizballah, and urged Israeli Arabs to celebrate the terrorist organization’s achievements and internalize its operational lessons.

His Knesset peer Ahmad Tibi was beside himself with joy on meeting the deceased [Syrian] tyrant’s son, Bashar al-Assad in January 2009. . . . The following year, Tibi traveled to Libya with a delegation of Israeli Arab parliamentarians to meet the long-reigning (and soon-to-be-deposed) dictator Muammar Qaddafi, whom he lauded as “king of the Arabs.” By this time, open calls for Israel’s destruction [by Arab parliamentarians] had substituted for the 1990s’ euphemistic advocacy of this goal.

This steady ultranationalist surge was met by corresponding reluctance by the legal system to enforce the legislation designed to ensure Israel’s Jewish character. Before the February 2009 and April 2019 elections, for instance, the Supreme Court overturned the Central Elections Committee’s disqualification of Balad and vetoed the disqualification of Arab members of Knesset who have expressed “support for armed struggle, by a hostile state or a terrorist organization, against the state of Israel”—the legal threshold for disqualification. [Recently], Israeli Arab politicians’ rejection of Israel’s Jewish nature has become ever more pronounced.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Hafez al-Assad, Israeli Arabs, Israeli politics, Knesset

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror