Tibi: Commissions of inquiry are 'dungeons of inquiry'

At Knesset session over NGO probe bill, UAL MK says Knesset taking the path of "McCarthyism"; Livni says those backing bill are against Israel; bill-proponent Kirschenbaum: "This is a fight for the image of the country."

July 20, 2011 18:53
2 minute read.
MK Ahmed Tibi

Tibi making a point in Knesset 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) on Wednesday said that when Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman talks about a commission of inquiry into left-wing NGOs, he means "dungeons of inquiry."

The MK was speaking at a Knesset session to vote on proposed legislation to establish commissions of inquiry into the activities and funding of left-wing organizations.

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Criticizing the bill and its proponents, Tibi said that the Knesset continued to follow in the path of "McCarthyism" and accused the right of leading the country "from one low point to another and from bad to worse."

He further accused the right of figuratively "assassinating the prime minister" and planning to "assassinate a Supreme Court Judge."

The Knesset session was held over two bills. One, submitted by Israel Beiteinu MK Faina Kirschenbaum, would probe the damage done by the NGOs to the IDF. The second, sponsored by Likud MK Danny Danon, would investigate the contributions the NGOs received from foreign countries.

Earlier at the Knesset plenum, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said the proposed legislation is " a cowardly act," adding, "What is happening here today will be a trigger for those who do not accept the state of Israel."

"This [law] will balance the delegitimization," Livni said.

"Those who vote in favor of this law will become voters against Israel. The evil spirits that have filled the Knesset are anti-democratic and violate the interests of the state of Israel," she added.

"This idea came about as a way to probe citizens who do not think like you," the opposition leader said referring to the the proponents of the bill.

Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, also speaking out against the bills, accused Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of being "the main figure to deligitimize Israel" through his criticism of NGOs such as Yesh Din.

Kirschenbaum, who first submitted the proposal for the probe into left-wing NGOs, defended the bill saying, "This is a fight for the image of the country."

Labor MK Raleb Majadele used the podium to criticize what he called the "poor treatment" of the country's minorities.

"If you don't care for the minority, the world will judge you," he said noting how haredim "are paid to pray, while I, who prays five times a day, get nothing."

The Labor MK called on other MKs to "climb down from your tree, take care of Israeli society, and stop inciting the minority."

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