Knesset event on ‘children of occupation’ angers Right
The MKs also announced that they would show a documentary about the suffering of Palestinian children, but the Knesset does not permit showing videos at meetings.
By GIL HOFFMANUpdated: JULY 2, 2018 02:36
A conference set for Monday at the Knesset about the fate of “children under occupation” faced sharp criticism on Monday from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and other politicians in Likud.The event was organized by Joint List MKs Ayman Odeh and Dov Khenin, Michal Rozin of Meretz, and Ksenia Svetlova of the Zionist Union. They invited Arab children from east Jerusalem to tell their stories, European diplomats will address the event, as will representatives from controversial left-wing groups like B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.Edelstein’s associates said the MKs who organized the event did not go through proper procedures. For instance, what was supposed to be a “meeting” became a “conference,” and they changed the title from “Education in light of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” to “A generation without a future: Children under occupation.”The MKs also announced that they would show a documentary about the suffering of Palestinian children, but the Knesset does not permit showing videos at meetings.Edelstein’s office said he would not permit the video to be shown, just like he previously barred a Bayit Yehudi MK from showing a video about Chabad. He asked the director-general of the Knesset Albert Sakharovich to convene an immediate meeting on policies for conferences.“Instead of asking for permission from the Knesset administration as MKs of all factions must do, they organize mass events under the guise of ‘meetings,’ as if their guests are innocent visitors,” Edelstein said. “I would expect those hosting the event to help the poverty of our own children first.”Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev went further, calling the organizers of the event “a fifth column.” She wrote on her Facebook page that the left-wing MKs and organizations had joined together to besmirch Israel in the Knesset.Advertisement“It’s simply unbelievable that the Knesset had become a hothouse for a summit that harms and undermines the state of Israel,” Regev wrote. “The time has come to stop this delusional event. The Knesset is the place for freedom of expression, not freedom of incitement.”Likud MK Anat Berko said she felt bad for the suffering of Palestinian children but that they were “victims of their corrupt, terrorist totalitarian regime.”Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid reacted to Svetlova organizing the event by accusing her Zionist Union faction of supporting efforts to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel.“The Zionist Union has lost it,” Lapid said.A spokeswoman for the organizers, Eliana Barbel, said they would not let the government hide the suffering of the occupation. She said attempts to silence the MKs contradicted the Knesset’s efforts to serve as a bastion of democracy and freedom of expression.“The scare tactics of the Right and its pale shadow, Lapid, will not stop us,” she said.