Knesset member Ayoub Kara, who represents the Druze community, is a member of the Likud Party. Referring to how he has been abused by Arab MKs during committee hearings, Kara declared on Israeli radio: “I see myself as an integral part of the Israeli people, but if they [these Arab MKs] see themselves as Palestinians, how can they be permitted to be legislators in our Knesset, or to take part in Israel’s crucial decisions on the Golan, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and the like?”
Likud depending on Arab votes?
More outrageous than the brazen disloyalty of Arab MKs is the supine disloyalty of many Jewish MKs, above all the Likud Party and its leader. Perhaps the latter is animated by a self-serving motive. Many Arabs vote for Jewish parties, including the Likud. These parties have a vested interest in not offending Arab voters by initiating criminal charges against their Arab leaders. This is one of the consequences of Israel’s parliamentary electoral system of proportional representation where the entire country constitutes a single district, so that Arab votes contribute to the number of seats allocated to Jewish parties. This may very well explain the following extraordinary incident.
Incitement to insurrection rates only suspension?
On December 24, 1992, at the height of the first intifada, Arab MK Hashm Mahameed went to Gaza and said this to his kinsmen: “So long as the [Israeli] occupation continues, so will the struggle, and by struggle we don’t mean only stones but a battle with all the means at our disposal.” It requires no imagination to see that Mahameed was inciting Arabs to use firearms and other weapons against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Nevertheless, for this seditious act, a Likud-controlled Knesset, by a vote of 54 to 48, did no more than suspend for three months Mahameed’s parliamentary privilege of unrestricted access to all areas of the country!
One may see, in those who voted in the negative, the Labor Party’s abject dependence on the Arab vote. But what of those Likudniks who voted in the affirmative? There we see political cowardice and fear of the racist slur. But this is not all.
In 1999, the same Mahameed (who supported the butcher Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War and who refers to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon as a “national liberation movement”) was appointed to the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, a committee which, among other responsibilities, oversees the work of Israel’s secret services!
Fear of the racist slur and self-serving motives deter all but a handful of Jewish MKs from calling for the removal of the parliamentary immunity of seditious Arab MKs, let alone the revocation of their citizenship.
Does democracy place loyal and disloyal citizens (and legislators) on the same plane?
But human beings feel a need to justify or rationalize their behavior, and this requires some simple, basic, and non-controversial idea or principle. The principle that dominates contemporary mentality is democratic, the most pervasive being equality. This principle obliterates all moral distinctions, to the extent of placing loyal and disloyal citizens on the same level and endowing them with equal political rights. Anyone with a scintilla of intellectual honesty will see that granting Arabs, who are hostile to the Jewish state, the same rights as Jews who fight and work for the Jewish state, is not only unjust, but suicidal!
Nevertheless, Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu has sacrificed his intellectual and moral integrity by advocating the creation of Palestinian state, meaning a Muslim Arab state in Israel’s heartland, Judea and Samaria! This should win him many Arab votes, to put it mildly.◙
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