You remember the old Nazi phrase “Judenrein?” Well, the Knesset’s far right members passed their first hurdle to make the next Knesset Arab-rein, voting to bar any member who had visited Arab states considered hostile to Israel:
The Knesset on Tuesday passed the first reading of a bill stating that people who have visited an enemy country cannot be elected to parliament. If the bill, which has extensive backing in the Knesset, becomes law, the senior members of all the Arab parties would be disqualified from being MKs.
The widespread support for the bill, which passed by a vote of 63-16, indicates that it has a good chance of becoming law by the end of the summer session – in time to apply to contenders in the next general election.
“The bill is intended to stop Trojan horses from infiltrating the Israeli Knesset,” said National Religious Party Chairman MK Zevulun Orlev, who proposed the bill along with MK Esterina Tartman (Yisrael Beiteinu).
Arab MKs objected to the move.
…The countries referred to by the bill are Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
What I find especially bizarre about the proposed law is that it would bar people like the foreign minister–who presumably might want to be involved in peace negotiations with a nation like Syria or Lebanon; or negotiations to normalize relations with Iran–from visiting precisely those nations they SHOULD be visiting if they ever hope to bring peace. The prime minister too would be banned. It’s also ironic that it does not include Palestine in the list of forbidden countries. I guess they wanted to allow Ehud Olmert to make a periodic fruitless foray to Jericho to meet with Abbas in the charade they call the “peace process.”
As it is, for Tzipi Livni (who voted for this abomination by the way) to be allowed to visit any of these countries, even in her role of foreign minister, she would have to get permission to do so from the interior minister and she would have to affirm that in doing so she was not supporting armed struggle against Israel. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Of course, the bill isn’t designed to penalize Livni. They’ll find a way to work around it if it ever applies to her. It is explicitly designed to eliminate those pesky, uppity Israeli niggers, the Arabs. They go wherever they want and don’t even ask permission. They visit Lebanon, Syria and in the process criticize Israel for its treatment of Israeli Arabs. They even say Hezbollah had a right to defend Lebanese territory from Israeli invasion in the last war. The nerve!
I only hope that if the Knesset is dumb enough to pass this bill that the Supreme Court will save the Knesset from itself by ruling this unconstitutional. If the Knesset doesn’t understand that this bill will irreparably damage the quaint, getting-feebler-by-the-moment notion of Israeli democracy–I hope to God a few justices will.