World Likud campaigns against Bishara

Organization to mount multi-lingual campaign to divest politician of Knesset pension benefits.

azmi bishara 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
azmi bishara 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The World Likud Organization will mount a multi-lingual campaign in the coming days, not to push candidates in elections, but to divest a politician - former MK Azmi Bishara - of pension benefits he receives due to his years in the Knesset. According to data received by the organization, Bishara receives a monthly pension of NIS 7,100, despite the fact that he has not returned to Israel since last year after an investigation was opened against him for alleged security-related crimes. After learning about the pension payments, WLO chairman Dani Danon decided to submit a appeal to the Supreme Court in the hope of revoking Bishara's citizenship and beginning legal proceedings that would result in the seizure of Bishara's remaining assets in Israel. Police suspect that the former Balad Party Chairman passed sensitive intelligence to Israel's enemies and contacted foreign agents during the Second Lebanon War. The Likud is not alone in its attempts to strip Bishara of his privileges as a former MK. Earlier this month, a bill submitted by NU/NRP MKs Yitzhak Levi, Effi Eitam and Tzvi Hendel that seeks to strip Bishara of his Knesset pension passed its preliminary reading on the Knesset floor. Bishara also unwittingly lent his name to a bill that passed its second and third readings in the last week of June. The "Bishara Bill," sponsored by Estherina Tartman (Israel Beiteinu) and Zevulun Orlev (NU/NRP), would invalidate the candidacy of any would-be MK who illegally visited an enemy state in the recent past. But World Likud decided to take the battle over Bishara's pension outside of the halls of government and into the public sphere, with an advertising campaign set to be unveiled in coming days. The campaign's English slogan asks readers if they "like to pay the enemy," and will include ad placement in Israeli newspapers and Web sites. And a month after the advertisement campaign, the WLO plans on returning the fight to the Supreme Court when, on September 1, there will be a hearing on the organization's appeal.