MK Bassel Ghattas.
(photo credit: KNESSET CHANNEL)
Joint List MK Basel Ghattas should be sanctioned for calling for a boycott of Israel at a far-left conference in Montreal, Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer said Monday, reacting to the lead story in The Jerusalem Post.
The lawmaker from Balad, one of the four parties that make up the Joint List, called Israel an oppressive, racist and apartheid state. He said he is pessimistic that there will be peace soon, and international sanctions were the most effective way to combat Israel.
“The theater of the absurd in the Knesset continues and the Joint List continues to prove that its MKs do not belong in the Knesset,” Forer said. “A member of parliament calling Israel racist and calling upon countries to boycott and sanction it is an unheard of act in any sane country in the world. It is not only delusional, it is against the law.”
Forer said he checked the laws prohibiting action that would harm Israel via boycotts and he intends to ask the finance minister to remove special tax status from any organization connected directly or indirectly to Ghattas.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) and Likud MK Sharren Haskel said Ghattas’s actions proved the need for the “MK expulsion law” that passed last month. Oren said the BDS movement is racist and supports the destruction of Israel.
“An MK calling for the destruction of the country he represents cannot sit in the legislature of that country,” Oren said. “Imagine a member of Congress calling for the destruction of the US. That is essentially what Ghattas did.”
Haskel said a parliament member cannot use the democratic tools that were given to him by the democracy he represents in order to destroy that country. She said she hoped the expulsion law could be used against Ghattas. But Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich said parliamentary tools would not be effective against Ghattas and he should not be given attention. “He doesn’t damage Israel,” Smotrich said. “Israel is strong enough to withstand the threat from Basel Ghattas, who nobody could care less about.”