MK levels anti-Israel accusations abroad

Afo Agbariya accuses Israel of aggression at European Parliament.

By REBECCA ANN STOIL
June 17, 2010 01:33
2 minute read.
MK Afo Agbariya

AFO AGBARIYA 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
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Israeli MKs, delegates to a meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, were surprised earlier this week to discover that they were not the Knesset’s only representatives at the meeting – MK Afo Agbariya (Hadash) had also arrived in the French city, apparently to present a very different picture of Israel’s interest than that of the official delegation.

MKs Einat Wilf (Labor) and Nachman Shai (Kadima) were attending a Tuesday hearing initiated by the European Communist Faction on Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, where they discovered their colleague Agbariya offering testimony against Israel.

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He accused Israel of “attacking its Arab neighbors and citizens without stop” and of preventing critical medical supplies from entering the Gaza Strip, which he said had led to the death of 700 Gazans at the border crossings.

Agbariya also called upon the international community to bring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition head Tzipi Livni to trial at the Hague.

Wilf and Shai described Agbariya’s comments as “very serious.”

“At a time when Israeli MKs are making every effort to calm the waters, to minimize damage and bring a positive message to the European Parliament, an Arab MK comes along, fans the flames and takes advantage of his position in order to convince the European Parliament to place sanctions on Israel,” they said.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also attacked the claims made by Agbariya.



“While we are trying to calm the situation and recover from a plot against Israel, an Arab MK comes and further fans the flames. I do not ask Arab MKs to defend Israel, and I try to distance them from any dilemma regarding defending Israel – but it seems to me that diffusing lies that border upon incitement against Israel in international forums is very serious, spitting in the face of the State of Israel.”

Rivlin added that “if Agbariya did in fact make the alleged statements, he is joining other Arab MKs who are further and further distancing the possibility of coexistence between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.

Agbariya, a freshman MK, was not a part of any officially funded delegation, and Knesset officials noted that the Ethics Committee was likely to check the source of funding for the MK’s trip. MKs traveling overseas with external funding are required to ask for approval of their trip before departing Israel.

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