Israeli Arab MKs Assailed for Attending Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation

Four Israeli delegates were in Cairo to take part in academic panels organized by an association for the commemoration of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Right-wing MKs slammed the presence of several Arab MKs at yesterday’s signing of a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement in Cairo.

The ceremony was attended by Hadash chairman and Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Mohammed Barakeh; MK Talab al-Sana and Deputy Knesset Speaker Ahmed Tibi, both of United Arab List-Ta’al; and former Balad MK Wasal Taha.

abbas - AP - November 11 2010

“The participation of Arab MKs in the ceremony is a slap in the face for the State of Israel and the people of Israel,” MK David Rotem ‏(Yisrael Beiteinu‏) told Haaretz. “Hamas is an organization that calls for Israel’s annihilation and refuses to release [kidnapped soldier] Gilad Shalit, whom they’ve held captive for five years. It’s a terrorist organization that should be boycotted, just as foreign states have determined.”

“MKs taking part in this ceremony are not loyal to Israel; their loyalty to Hamas is greater than their loyalty to Israel,” he went on. “It’s time these MKs became members of a Hamas parliament and left the Israeli Knesset.”

MK Aryeh Eldad ‏(National Union‏) said the people of Israel ought to pay heed to what the Arab MKs are doing and realize that they are “Hamas supporters who identify with the worst of our enemies.”

The four Israeli delegates had already been in Cairo for a few days to take part in academic panels organized by an association for the commemoration of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat.

The three sitting MKs released a joint statement saying that they had been invited by the Egyptian hosts to attend the ceremony, as they represent “a population that is part of the Arab-Palestinian people.”

“We are part of the Palestinian people,” Barakeh said yesterday after the ceremony. “What pains that people pains us, and we have a double interest in attaining peace between the Palestinian factions and between Israel and the peoples of the region.”