(photo credit: )
Balad MKs protested the Shin Bet's announcement Wednesday that former Balad head Azmi Bishara was suspected of treason and espionage for aiding Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, claiming that there was no real evidence to support the accusations.
Bishara's replacement in the Knesset, Attorney Said Nafa, told Israel Radio that the Shin Bet announcement was, in fact, much ado about nothing, and that there was no basis for the suspicions that the Balad leader had given information to Hizbullah.
Nafa contended that if Bishara really had aided the enemy during the war, the Shin Bet should have moved to arrest him earlier. Since they waited until now, he said, the case against Bishara was obviously a political attack.
Balad MK Jamal Zahalka, meanwhile, declared that the "Shin Bet [was picked] to counter the
"There is no evidence against Bishara - only telephone conversations," Zahalka said.
NU-NRP MK Uri Ariel, however, said in response to the report that "it [was] clear that a nationalist Arab, even an MK, can't resist helping the enemy in a time of war, including direct assistance in murdering Israelis."
MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said that he did not understand how the former Balad chairman could have given Hizbullah coordinates for Israeli targets.
Cohen called on Bishara to return to Israel and present his case, and warned against an
uprising against the "entire Arab public."
UAL faction head Taleb a-Sanaa objected to the suspicions of treason and espionage against Bishara.
"The media is a court that convicts without a trial," the MK said. He called on Bishara to return to Israel and prove that the allegations were baseless, and - like Cohen - warned against incitement against Israel's Arab population.