'MKs' Libya trip violates ethics'

Rivlin: Flying on Gaddafi's private jet is accepting outside funding.

April 28, 2010 05:31
2 minute read.
Gaddafi hosting the Arab League Summit

Gaddafi, Arab League summit 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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 analysis 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


While it remains unclear whether Arab MKs violated the so-called Bishara Law in their visit to Libya earlier this week, Knesset officials confirmed Tuesday evening that the six MKs did not secure the necessary Knesset approval required before their trip.

The six MKs – Ahmed Tibi (UAL) Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash), Jamal Zehalke (Balad), Afo Agbariyah (Hadash), Taleb a-Sanaa (UAL) and Hanin Zuabi (Balad) – returned to their Knesset duties Tuesday after the two-day visit. During the course of the visit the MKs met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Right-wing MKs and organizations blasted the MKs for the visit, arguing that they had violated Israeli law in visiting an enemy state without the approval of the interior minister. But after a legal check, Knesset Legal Advisor’s office said that their official opinion is that Libya is not an enemy state, although MK Zvulun Orlev, who drafted the Bishara Law, argued earlier this week that it is.

The Bishara Law bars from running for Knesset any candidate who illegally visited an enemy state in recent years.

Is Libya an enemy country? The law isn't so clear

Despite the questionable legality of the visit, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin confirmed Tuesday that the trip was clearly in violation of Knesset ethical guidelines. Whenever any MK leaves the country using outside funding, that MK must first secure the approval of the Ethics Committee. Rivlin’s office added that the fact that the MKs flew on Gaddafi’s private jet to Libya indicated that the visit was at least partially funded by the Libyan leader or the state of Libya, both of which constitute an external source.

Any MK or extra-parliamentary body is eligible to submit a complaint against the six to the Ethics Committee.

Meanwhile Tuesday, a-Sanaa took the podium in the Knesset plenum to offer his analysis of the visit in a 60-second long speech.

“I want to congratulate the Libyan leader on the historic visit,” said a-Sanaa. “There is nothing more natural than that we, the Arabs, would visit in Libya when we share the same nationality, the same culture, the same history and the same language.”

A-Sanaa added that Israel’s greatest enemy was “the state of Israel itself.”

During the visit, Gaddafi emphasized that they do not have any problem with the Jews but with Zionism, he said.

“Maybe you will learn once and for all that you are not the smartest people in the world,” added a-Sanaa.

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


Cookie Settings