Attending the conference at the Knesset yesterday are, from second left, B’Tselem head Hagai El-Ad and MKs Aida Touma-Sliman, Ayman Odeh and Dov Henin.
(photo credit: YONAH JEREMY BOB)
Parliamentarians from the Joint List have joined forces with the Palestinian Authority to seek United Nations censure of the Jewish State, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in New York Danny Danon charged on Sunday.
“The Palestinian delegation, in cooperation with Knesset members from the Arab parties, is planning steps aimed at smearing Israel and damaging its image through incitement and lies,” Danon said.
He spoke after Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman met last week with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo in New York to seek support for her party’s battle against the newly approved Nation-State Law
The legislation’s supporters say that it shores up Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, while its opponents hold that it is racist and discriminates against the country’s minorities.
The Palestinian Authority already stated that it is likely to act against Israel
at the UN General Assembly. Among the measures it is weighing is a text that would call for Israel’s ouster from the UN. It is presumed that the US would block such a move at the UN Security Council, which has final say on the matter.
Danon, however, complained to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein about the actions of the Arab parliamentarians, stating that it was part of a wider series of steps they have taken against the state.
“In the last two years, we have witnessed close cooperation between Knesset members and the Palestinian delegation in the UN, whose activities incite and defame against the State of Israel, and are celebrated on the international stage,” Danon said.
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“For example, MK Aida Touma-Sliman participated in a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation, and MK Ahmad Tibi participated in an anti-Israel event of the Palestine Conference on November 29.
“I find fault with the fact that acting Knesset members are cooperating with these initiatives and are cynically exploiting their positions as official representatives of the state in order to harm it in the international arena,” Danon said.
Edelstein said that those parliamentarians that were smearing Israel internationally received salaries and legislative assistance from the state.
“Anyone who cooperates with the Palestinian Authority against Israel should ask themselves whether their rightful place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament,” Edelstein said.
Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) asked the House Committee to amend the parliament’s ethical rules to impose harsh penalties on parliamentarians who act against Israel in the international arena.
A number of parliamentarians who oppose the Nation-State Law also severely criticized the Joint List politicians for seeking United Nations censure of the law.
Zionist Union Party head Avi Gabbay said, “Joint List parliamentarians denigrate our country everywhere and we will continue to fight this phenomenon.”
He noted, however, that the last person to complain about them should be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “who warmly shook [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat’s hand, released 1,000 Hamas terrorists, lost to Hamas in Operation Protective Edge and brought [Hamas leader] Salah al-Arouri to the Gaza Strip.”
Twouma-Sliman said that the Nation-State Law “is an apartheid law” that is “reminiscent of dark and tyrannical regimes,” adding that her party has not only a right “but a moral obligation” to work against such racism and discrimination.
The appeal to the UN was made out of a deep belief that this law is not simply an internal Israeli affair, but rather has far reaching negative implications for the State of Israel, the Palestinian people and any future attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she said.
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen added that: “The Netanyahu government is not above international law.”
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