Arab MKs' Libya Trip Irks the Right

A delegation of Arab Knesset members met yesterday, for the first time ever, with Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi.

The Arab leader received the MKs in his tent near the town of Serit, where he hosted the recent Arab League summit.

Gadhafi delivered a two-hour speech to his guests - who included MKs Mohammed Barakeh, Ahmed Tibi, Talab al-Sana and Afu Aghbaria - on a variety of topics, but emphasized the Palestinian issue. He surprised his listeners by urging them to "bring as many children into the world as possible."

Gadhafi slammed Arab countries that maintain ties with Israel, as well as the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.

The MKs' visit to Libya drew the ire of rightist lawmakers. MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), who sponsored a law disqualifying legislators who visit "enemy states" from running for election, urged Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procaccia, who heads the central election committee, to convene the panel immediately to debate the lawmakers' eligibility for re-election.

Orlev said he consulted with the Defense Ministry, which confirmed that Libya is one of the "enemy states." The MK also confirmed that Interior Minister Eli Yishai was not asked to consider, or approve, the group's trip to Libya.