By Zvulun Orlev
Expulsion from the Knesset
The traitorous undermining of the underpinnings of our existence by the MK's of the Balad Party (Haneen Zoabi and her cohorts) is becoming more and more serious as time goes on. I will never forget my difficult emotions as I sat in the Knesset listening to their speeches, sounding as if we were in the parliament of Hamas. If we want to stay alive, it is vital for us to adopt efficient defensive measures. It would be better to prevent their entry into the Knesset than to try to eject them once they have been elected.
Section 7a of the Basic Law of the Knesset clearly states:
(a) A slate will not participate in elections for the Knesset, and no person will be a candidate for election to the Knesset, if the goals and the actions of the slate or the actions of the person, explicitly or hinted at, include one of the following:
(1) The rejection of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; (2) racial incitement; (3) support for armed warfare by an enemy nation or by a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.
(1a) For the purposes of this section, a candidate who within seven years before the slate was presented to the Knesset unlawfully spent time in an enemy state will be viewed as providing support for an armed struggle against the State of Israel, unless the opposite can be proved.
(b) A decision by the Central Elections Committee that a candidate is prevented from participating in the elections must be approved by the Supreme Court.
On the face of it, this seems quite satisfactory, except for the fact that it is a law which is not put into effect. All of the decisions to reject the candidacy of members of Balad were not approved by the Supreme Court. Even Azmi Bashara, who was caught spying for the enemy and fled to Qatar, was not rejected as a candidate by the court. There is no point in the current proposal to apply the above section of the law retroactively to MK's who have been elected if a majority of 90 MK's vote to do this. This will never happen, both because of the high number of 90 votes and because the Supreme Court will never approve such a move.
There are some who feel that expulsion of an MK from the Knesset must be done using the tools of criminal law, by convicting them in court of crimes with "moral turpitude," since in any case support of terrorism, armed warfare, and racism are all criminal offenses. However, it will not be possible to convict these people because of the sophisticated way that they operate, aside from the hesitation of the state's attorney's office and the forgiving attitude of the courts. Even the open support that Zoabi gave to the journey of the Marmara did not lead to criminal charges. And the support of Balad for the "shahidim" is also greeted with forgiveness by the courts.
The Law of the Jewish State
It is a remarkable fact and a bitter truth that rejection of the concept of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is not a criminal act in our land! Were you aware of this? All of the many attempts to fix this situation have failed! (I know this from personal experience – I suppose the only explanations lie in the purity of rightist liberalism.) What route can we suggest to solve this problem, or at least to reduce its effect?
First of all, it is necessary to explicitly include in the Basic Law of the Knesset and in criminal statutes that rejection of the state as a Jewish and democratic country is a criminal offense. To add strength to this, the Israeli Declaration of Independence should be made into a Basic Law, with its summary at the end: "In view of our natural and historic rights and based on the decision of the United Nations, we hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael, to be known as the State of Israel..."
Second, we should remove the section in the Basic Law of the Knesset which requires positive approval by the Supreme Court of any decision to reject a slate for a Knesset election. There is no need to demand a positive approval from the court. In any case it is possible to file an appeal with the court, and there is no need to require a priori approval.
Third, today's declaration of loyalty by MK's is as follows: "I promise to be loyal to the State of Israel." The phrase, "as a Jewish and democratic state" should be added to this declaration. Whoever refuses to make this declaration will not be able to serve in the Knesset. He will be forced to choose in which parliament to serve – in Israel or in the Palestinian Authority.
In the end, the root of this matter is the struggle of our internal enemies against our existence as the homeland of the Jewish nation. They deny this identity in order to destroy us from within. As a first step they strive to define the state as "a country of all its citizens," and as the next step they want to cancel out our identity by establishing a Palestinian state in response to pressure by the United Nations and the nations of the world. They demand the 1949 borders and the "return" of their "refugees," in order to achieve an Arab majority and to take over control. Their struggle is not illegal today, since there is no law that prohibits changing the Jewish character of the state, and the Declaration of Independence which defined our identity has no legal status.
The Prime Minister repeatedly demands, and rightly so, that any treaty with the Palestinians must include recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. How can we demand this from the Palestinians, when we have not formally recognized this matter and we have not made it part of our Basic Laws? Our weak spirit gives them hope, and this must be curtailed. There is no room in our Knesset for any Trojan horses.