Thursday, April 12, 2007


There's been much speculation as to the whereabouts of Knesset member Azmi Bishara, an Arabic member with zero loyalty to the Jewish state. The NY Sun has one of the latest reports on this puzzling case of where he's gone:
A firebrand advocate of ending Israel's standing as a Jewish state, Azmi Bishara of the Balad Party has been out of the country for more than two weeks. A report Friday in a local Arab-language newspaper that the Knesset member plans to resign his post — and subsequent reports that he could seek asylum in Qatar — has become the talk of the Knesset. [...]

Two weeks ago, Mr. Bishara, who lives in a wealthy neighborhood in Haifa, left for Qatar during the Knesset's Passover recess. He appeared on Al-Jazeera as a political analyst during the Arab League summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and confidants say he is now on his way to Europe. [...]

"Nobody has been more harmful to the delicate relations between Israeli Arabs and Jews than Bishara, and if indeed he has decided to leave, this will benefit everyone," the leader of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, said at a public event in northern Israel.

"Bishara is involved in a very serious affair," a leader of the National Religious Party, Effie Eitam, told Israel Radio yesterday, hinting at the lawmaker's possible collaboration with an Israeli enemy. "Arab Knesset members who visit enemy countries violate the law and are scornful of the loyalty to our state."

Mr. Bishara has maintained close ties to Damascus and its Baathist government, as well as Hezbollah, and he has traveled to Syria and Lebanon several times. "Hezbollah won, and we" — the Arabs — "have tasted victory for the first time since 1967," he said in 2000 in the aftermath of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, in a speech made in the Israeli Arab city of Um al Fahm. "It is the right of Hezbollah to be proud of its achievements and to humiliate Israel."

A year later, after making a similar statement in Qardaha, Syria, at the funeral of President Hafez al-Assad, Mr. Bishara's was stripped of his immunity from prosecution as a Knesset member and he was indicted for supporting a terror organization. In 2006, however, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the speeches consisted political activity and reinstated his immunity.
He's a dangerous man, this Bishara is. He won't be missed, whereever he is, and even his own party isn't sure where he's gone. Yisraeli reported that his family has joined him in his departure, and he was last seen in Jordan. Is he in hiding? Nothing is clear so far, but it doesn't matter anyway. He does not belong here.

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