Disengagement amnesty passes hurdle

Gal-On reminded of Weimar Republic as Knesset approves first reading of bill to pardon protesters.

Gal-On 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Gal-On 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Knesset passed the first reading of a bill Tuesday night which would pardon those against whom criminal cases have been opened for anti-disengagement activity. Prior to the vote, a fierce war of words broke out between MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) and right-wing MKs, after the Meretz MK said that "for years Israel has ignored the crimes of the Right." She added that Israel must learn from the lessons of the collapsed Weimar Republic (the democratic and republican period of Germany from 1919 to 1933). "May I remand you that democracy in Germany collapsed because it allowed its enemies on the extreme Right to exploit it," she said. An outraged Zevulun Or-Lev (NRP/NU) responded," You have gone mad, you have crossed all red lines. It is inconceivable for an MK to stand up in the Knesset plenum and say that the Israeli Right behaves like the Weimar parliament that raised Hitler to power." Or-Lev's colleague Uri Ariel called Gal-On's remarks an "abomination" and fellow MK Aryeh Eldad said that "the self hatred of the Israeli Left is sick and reflects a deep mental illness."