MK Arye Eldad 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MK Arye Eldad (National Union) left the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg early on Wednesday, saying that MK Doron Avital
(Kadima), head of the Knesset delegation, would not allow him to
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Palestinian council gets 'Partner for Democracy'
Eldad, Avital and MK Rachel Adatto (Kadima) were sent to represent
Israel at PACE, where the PLO was granted “Partner for Democracy” status, a move
that Eldad vocally opposed.
“Instead of fighting the Palestinians’
attempt to better its international status in the Council of Europe, Avital
supported the move, even when some European parliamentarians opposed accepting
them as ‘Partners for Democracy,’” Eldad said.
The National Union MK said
that “head delegate” is a symbolic position, and “a delegation leader has never
taken advantage of his position in this way before, acting like the power had
gone to his head.”
Avital gave himself “the exclusive right to speak
before the European Council,” Eldad said.
“When he realized that even his
fellow Kadima member, Rachel Adatto, would not align herself with Avital’s
opinions, he would not allow other delegation members to speak,” Eldad
Once Eldad was given the opportunity to speak, Avital prefaced his
words by saying the National MK’s opinions did not represent “the stance of the
“I did not come to Strasbourg to hear harmful words from Arabs
and hatred of Israel from some of the European parliamentarians without being
allowed to respond,” Eldad said upon his return to Israel.
The Jerusalem Post: “Eldad had the opportunity to express his opinion before the
European Parliament, and used it to say that Jordan is the Palestinian
This stance is irresponsible, and not shared with the government
of Israel or most members of Knesset.
“If Eldad claims to represent the
State of Israel,” Avital continued, “he should at least listen to Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s Bar- Ilan speech [from June 14, 2009], in which he
discusses the future Palestinian state and its borders.”
Avital said that
his support for the Palestinians’ upgraded status was accepted as “responsible
and mature” by the European Parliament.
While the PLO is now a “Partner
for Democracy,” the status will be subject to review biannually, and requires
“steps towards democratization and a long list of demands,” he said.
democratization of Palestinian society is a clear Israeli interest,” the Kadima
When the Knesset’s winter session begins at the end of the
month, Eldad plans to demand that the authority of a Knesset delegation leader
be discussed. It was a waste of government money to send two additional MKs to
PACE who “served as decorations,” he said.