Israeli MKs Banned from Enemy States

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed a law Monday banning anyone visiting enemy states from serving as a legislator.

Dubbed the Bishara law, the legislation is named after the former head of the Israeli Arab Balad party, Azmi Bishara, whose frequent trips to Lebanon and Syria prompted Israeli police to open an investigation on suspicions that he aided the Hezbollah terror organization in the Second Lebanon War.

The new legislation, which passed by a vote of 52 to 24, states that "anyone who has illegally visited an enemy state in the seven years preceding the [submission of his name on the party list] will be seen as a supporter of the armed struggle, unless they prove otherwise."

"From today onward, Arab MKs will have to decide -- the Syrian parliament or the Israeli parliament," said the bill's co-sponsor, MK Zevulun Orlev (National Union, National Religious Party).

"The law will put the brakes on the infiltration of Trojan horses into the Knesset," he said. "We must demand of the [Israeli] Arab leadership unconditional loyalty to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, just as every democratic state asks of its elected officials," he said.

Arab MKs said they should have the right to visit neighboring Arab countries and they would petition the High Court of Justice to repeal the law.

"It is a law of terror by any other name," said MK Muhammad Barakei. "It aims to impose a rule of terror in thought and political opinion," he said.

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) said it would fail in the court because it encroached on equality.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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