Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein issued the following statement:
The Zionist Organization of America praises the Israeli Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for advancing the efforts to deal with Members of the Knesset (MKs) who are shamefully and treasonously abetting terrorism against innocent Israelis. The Knesset committee voted to send to the full Knesset for a first reading a bill to allow the Knesset to remove MKs who promote terrorism, reject Israel as a Jewish democratic state, or incite racism, upon a super-majority vote of 90 MKs (three-quarters of the 120-member Knesset). In February, the Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon approved the expulsion bill.
Recently, three MKs from the Arab Balad party (part of the Arab Joint List) abetted terror by visiting and comforting the families of Arab terrorists, including the Arab terrorists who perpetrated a vicious shooting and knife attack on a bus in Jerusalem, murdering innocent Israelis Chaim Habib and Alon Guvberg and Israeli-American Richard Lakin, and wounding 15 other innocent Israelis. The Arab MKs’ visit is the equivalent of U.S. Senators going to comfort Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or Foot Hood shooter Nidal Hassan – visits that would be unimaginable here.
Moreover, these Arab MKs’ visits to comfort terrorists were not an isolated incident of their incitement, aid and comfort to terrorists. In January, one of the same MKs, Hanin Zoabi, pleaded guilty to insulting a public servant – for an incident in which MK Zoabi screamed at Arab-Israeli policemen that the policemen were “traitors,” and encouraged the crowd to spit in the policemen’s faces, when the policemen were simply doing their jobs, trying to maintain order outside a courthouse. In 2010, Zoabi participated in the Gaza flotilla to try to stop Israel from curtailing weapons shipments into Gaza.
Although Israeli law has certain limits as to who may run for Knesset, a law is needed to oust already-elected MKs who promote and incite terrorism. The new expulsion bill borrows Israel’s already-existing criteria specifying who is qualified to run in Knesset elections. Israel’s Basic Law: The Knesset, Article 7A, provides that persons and parties shall not participate in Knesset elections if their goals or actions: (1) negate the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; (2) incite racism; or (2) support armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.
The ZOA notes that U.S. law would expel U.S. legislators under similar circumstances. U.S. law disqualifies from office (makes “incapable of holding any office under the United States”) any person who commits treason (18 U.S. Code § 2381); any person who incites, assists, engages in or gives aid or comfort to rebellion or insurrection against the United States or its laws (18 U.S. Code § 2383); and any person who advocates the violent overthrow of the government or assassination of any government officer (18 U.S. Code § 2385). Treason includes adhering to the United States’ enemies, giving the United States’ enemies “aid and comfort within the United States and elsewhere.”
Israel’s law should be similarly expanded.