Eldad spared probe of 'treason' remark

MKs had charged that citation of penal code could be interpreted as incitement to assassinate Olmert.

arye eldad 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
arye eldad 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
The Attorney-General's Office announced Wednesday that it would not instruct police to open an investigation against National Union/National Religious Party MK Aryeh Eldad, who, following the announcement of peace talks with Syria, quoted the penal code to the effect that ceding land was an act of 'treason' punishable by death or life imprisonment. Eldad's remarks last week prompted Meretz MK Ran Cohen to demand that the Right-wing parliamentarian be investigated on suspicion of incitement. "These despicable statements are reminiscent of the days before the murder of [former Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin and must not be heard," Cohen had said. "Law enforcement authorities must prevent it, from public figures too." Condemnation of Eldad's comment was not just restricted to the left and the coalition. MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP) lashed out at his fellow party member, writing to him that he "heard his statement with shock." Eldad's comments, the Attorney-General's Office announced Wednesday, "were inappropriate and it would have been better had they not been uttered. Any attempt to cling to the treason clause in the penal code is unfounded." "Despite this," the statement went on, "it appears that the criminal field is not the appropriate channel to confront issues of this type, which are by their very nature a part of the public and political arena - and it is in this arena that they should be handled." Responding to the decision, Cohen called on the public to "denounce and punish anyone who incites and sullies public discourse." Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report