MK Eldad sticks by treason comments as criticism mounts

Dalia Rabin: We are witnessing an escalation in level of incitement to murder prime ministers who are returning land.

arye eldad 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
arye eldad 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy of the Knesset)
The Rabin family on Tuesday joined the growing line of public figures criticizing MK Arye Eldad (National Union/National Religious Party) for comments describing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a traitor whose actions are punishable by death under Israeli law. "We are witnesses to an escalation in the level of incitement to murder prime ministers who are trying to return territory," said former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin, daughter of slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The comments Eldad made Monday were rendered even more serious because he was a member of Knesset, which gave them a degree of legitimacy, Rabin said, according to Army Radio. "There could be some crazy person who thinks he got permission from Eldad to murder Olmert because of his calls to return the Golan Heights," Rabin said. She joined calls made Monday by MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) and Tuesday morning by National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezar (Labor) to open a criminal investigation into Eldad's statement, arguing that if the state failed to act against those who incited against the Olmert, everybody would be responsible if another prime minister were attacked. But Eldad remained unapologetic on Tuesday, reiterating that he had merely quoted from the law on treason. During the meeting of the Golan Heights Forum in which he made the comments, Eldad handed out a highlighted copy of the law - clause 97B of the criminal code of 1977. According to the law, "Anyone who intentionally caused any territory to leave control of the state or to fall under the authority of a foreign country, or an action that could cause such, his fate is death or life imprisonment."