(photo credit: AP)
As Israeli-Arab leaders met Sunday evening with Libyan President
Muammar Gaddafi, right-wing politicians and organizations in Israel
called for sanctions against the six MKs who were members of the
delegation to Libya.
MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List)
described the meeting with the maverick ruler as “wonderful,” and said
that Gaddafi emphasized the importance of the first-ever visit of
Israeli Arab MKs to his country.
The nearly four-dozen-strong
delegation of Israeli-Arab politicians, religious leaders and
journalists met Gaddafi Sunday evening for dinner at Gaddafi’s famous
Beduin tent in his hometown of Serat, where he hosted an Arab League
summit last month.
According to Sanaa, Gaddafi told the delegation that “we are not against the Jews, but against the Zionists.”
asked Gaddafi to help push forward a proposal by which Arab states will
“open their doors” to Israeli Arabs. Sanaa asked that Israeli Arab
students be permitted to attend Libyan universities, and the Libyans
“The settlements policy renders the solution of two
states for two peoples irrelevant,” complained Sanaa, who also
predicted that “the fate of the Israeli occupation is to end like the
Italian colonial occupation ended in Libya.”
But back in
Israel, some of Sanaa’s fellow MKs saw the visit as anything but
wonderful, as calls grew for the six MKs – Sanaa, MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL),
Jamal Zahalka (Balad), Haneen Zoabi (Balad), Muhammad Barakei (Hadash)
and Afo Agbaria (Hadash) – to be penalized for their trip.
would suggest that the Arab MKs stay in Libya with Gaddafi,” said MK
Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu). “Israeli citizens won’t shed a tear if
they stay there together with one of the great haters of Israel.
and time again, the Arab MKs prove with whom their loyalty lies, and
the country must reach its own conclusions regarding their visit to an
MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) invoked a
law that he helped pass that would prohibit MKs found to have visited
an enemy state from running as candidates in the next Knesset
Orlev sent letters to Supreme Court Justice Ayala
Procaccia – who also serves as the head of the Central Elections
Committee – and to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein invoking the
so-called Bishara Law that was passed in 2008.
Orlev, Libya is considered an enemy state by the Defense Ministry, and
as such the MKs were required to receive the approval of Interior
Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) before embarking on the visit.
Legal Forum for the Land of Israel also drafted a letter to Weinstein,
calling on the attorney-general to open a criminal investigation
against the six MKs for their visit to an enemy state.