Balad MKs Bishara and Taha questioned over visits to enemy states

Bishara: Mazuz gave in to public pressure when he decided to investigate the trip.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
September 21, 2006 22:55
1 minute read.
Balad MKs Bishara and Taha questioned over visits to enemy states

azmi bishara. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Balad MKs Azmi Bishara and Wasil Taha were questioned Thursday by the police's International and Serious Crimes Unit regarding allegations that they broke the law when they visited enemy states starting September 14. Bishara said that the questioning was "relevant and polite," but both lawmakers slammed Israeli politicians for "failing to understand" the potential benefit of their recent visit to Lebanon and Syria. On Wednesday, Balad legislator Jamal Zahalka and former MK Muhammad Kana'an were questioned about their participation in the same trip. Former MK Muhammad Miari also made the journey. The five are all suspected of violating a 2001 law forbidding political officials from traveling to enemy states. Taha said Thursday that the legislation was unconstitutional and violated MK's basic rights. "Instead of taking advantage of our connections with Syria, we are being investigated," Taha said Thursday. Bishara said the prime minister should have asked him about his impressions, rather than police investigators. "Only we meet the political conditions to meet with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad," Bishara said. "I am not sorry that we traveled [to Syria and Lebanon]. If the need arises, I will do it again. We don't go on vacations like other MKs, who take advantage of their status to travel overseas. We do it because we think that it is important, these are visits during times of tension. Any normal country would appreciate this, because it creates dialogue," he said. Last Sunday, Attorney General Menahem Mazuz said he was opening an investigation into the trip, which was conducted without permission from the Interior Ministry or the prime minister. Bishara said Mazuz "gave in to public pressure when he decided to try us for the visit," and that certain politicians were acting out of "base political" motives by insisting that the five be investigated.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN