Almagor to Barak: Don't use Tarif as envoy to PA

The Almagor terror victims association sentDefense Minister Ehud Barak a letter on Sunday urging him to stop usingformer minister Salah Tarif, who is a convicted felon, as his envoy tothe Palestinian Authority and the Arab world.

Ma'ariv'sBen Caspit revealed on Sunday that Barak has used Tarif as an emissaryto PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders, despite his 2004bribery conviction and a judge's ruling that Tarif cannot hold publicoffice until 2014.

Caspit wrote that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's associates see Tarif's involvement in the diplomatic issue as problematic.

In a letter that was also sent to Netanyahu, Attorney-GeneralMenahem Mazuz and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Almagor director MeirIndor wrote Barak that it was especially problematic that Tarif was incontact with "current and former terrorists."

"Such missions require clean hands, but Tarif has failed such tests in the past," Indor wrote in the letter.

Barak's associates responded by downplaying Tarif's role. Theysaid he was merely an adviser on Arab affairs to Barak in Labor andthat Barak had only given Tarif a role, because as the first Druseminister, he is one of the strongest people in one of Labor's keysectors.

"The position is anhonorary one and has no substance," a Labor source said. "With all duerespect, Barak doesn't need Salah Tarif to get to Abu Mazen [Abbas]."

Tarif declined to confirm or deny any of the details in the report about him.

"Now that I am not in the Knesset, I don't have to answer toanyone anymore," Tarif said. "I just do what my conscience tells me todo."