Arab MKs visit Libya's Gaddafi

In Israel, calls to prosecute delegation for meeting maverick leader.

Gaddafi 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Gaddafi 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
As Israeli-Arab leaders met Sunday evening with Libyan PresidentMuammar Gaddafi, right-wing politicians and organizations in Israelcalled for sanctions against the six MKs who were members of thedelegation to Libya.
MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List)described the meeting with the maverick ruler as “wonderful,” and saidthat Gaddafi emphasized the importance of the first-ever visit ofIsraeli Arab MKs to his country.
The nearly four-dozen-strongdelegation of Israeli-Arab politicians, religious leaders andjournalists met Gaddafi Sunday evening for dinner at Gaddafi’s famousBeduin tent in his hometown of Serat, where he hosted an Arab Leaguesummit last month.
According to Sanaa, Gaddafi told the delegation that “we are not against the Jews, but against the Zionists.”
Sanaaasked Gaddafi to help push forward a proposal by which Arab states will“open their doors” to Israeli Arabs. Sanaa asked that Israeli Arabstudents be permitted to attend Libyan universities, and the Libyansagreed.
“The settlements policy renders the solution of twostates for two peoples irrelevant,” complained Sanaa, who alsopredicted that “the fate of the Israeli occupation is to end like theItalian colonial occupation ended in Libya.”
But back inIsrael, some of Sanaa’s fellow MKs saw the visit as anything butwonderful, as calls grew for the six MKs – Sanaa, MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL),Jamal Zahalka (Balad), Haneen Zoabi (Balad), Muhammad Barakei (Hadash)and Afo Agbaria (Hadash) – to be penalized for their trip.
“Iwould suggest that the Arab MKs stay in Libya with Gaddafi,” said MKMoshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu). “Israeli citizens won’t shed a tear ifthey stay there together with one of the great haters of Israel.
“Timeand time again, the Arab MKs prove with whom their loyalty lies, andthe country must reach its own conclusions regarding their visit to anenemy state.”
MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) invoked alaw that he helped pass that would prohibit MKs found to have visitedan enemy state from running as candidates in the next Knessetelections.
Orlev sent letters to Supreme Court Justice AyalaProcaccia – who also serves as the head of the Central ElectionsCommittee – and to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein invoking theso-called Bishara Law that was passed in 2008.
According toOrlev, Libya is considered an enemy state by the Defense Ministry, andas such the MKs were required to receive the approval of InteriorMinister Eli Yishai (Shas) before embarking on the visit.
TheLegal Forum for the Land of Israel also drafted a letter to Weinstein,calling on the attorney-general to open a criminal investigationagainst the six MKs for their visit to an enemy state.