Here we have David Newman, a professor at the Ben Gurion University in Israel, writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times in which he (predictably) disses Israeli democracy for kicking two Arabs terrorists out of the Knesset. Let's analyze.
BEERSHEBA, IsraelWhich is why there has been consistent war with the Arabs for 50-odd years. Jews are tolerant even of those who wish to murder them.
Even amid conflict, Israelis have always applauded themselves for allowing anyone to run for office — including those who reject the very raison d'être of a Jewish state.
Only rarely has a political party been banned from the elections, the most notable being Kach, the extreme rightist anti-Arab party founded by Meir Kahane.First Newman applaudes the ban on Rabbi Kahane, who had a legitimate perspective on the question of Israeli security and existence as a Jewish state. Now he says that it's a disgrace that Rabbi Kahane's successor is allowed to run, while terrorists like Tibi and Bishara are not.
But now, with a round of Knesset elections three weeks away, Israel has much less reason for pride. While Mr. Kahane's successor, Baruch Marzel, was allowed to run for office as the No. 2 candidate for another extreme rightist party, the two most prominent Arab legislators in the outgoing Knesset, Ahmed Tibi and Azmi Bishara, were barred by the Central Election Committee last week.
The committee, composed of representatives of the parties that have Knesset seats and two neutral members (both of whom opposed the decision), described Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara as consistently expressing opposition to the existence of a Jewish state (as contrasted with a state of "all its citizens" in which everyone is equal, Jew or Arab). Under Israeli law, such opposition bars a person's candidacy. Mr. Bishara was also accused of supporting armed resistance in the occupied territories, an accusation he denied.Whether or not he denies it, he does it. Arafat denies terrorism every day, but he's still a murderous monster.
Mr. Marzel, whose candidacy was in danger because of his association with the banned Kach, could run, the committee members decided, because he had assured them that he no longer held to the racist policies of Kach — even though he is often shown on television promoting "transfer," a code word for the expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.Here is Newman's real point -- he's unwilling to do what it takes to secure Jewish lives, so he wants Marzel banned. Not only is he a chicken, he's a slimebucket if he wants Tibi and Bishara, who support the slaughter of Israelis, to maintain their seats in Knesset.
The final decision on Mr. Tibi's and Mr. Bishara's candidacies now rests with the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear the candidates' appeals tomorrow. But even if the court overturns the ban, Israeli Arab voters' faith in the election system has been broken.What a tragedy. Israeli Arabs, who overwhelmingly support the Palestinian Authority and the Intifada, aren't happy with Israeli democracy. If they don't get to elect leaders who want to bomb the hell out of Israel, then they'll be mad. Oh darn.
The message could not be clearer: if you are a Jewish extremist, you can go on the campaign trail. But if you belong to the Arab minority and do not openly toe the government line, you cannot be part of the election game."Do not openly toe the government line"? That's the understatement of the century. Bishara and Tibi fund terror, openly support terror, and claim that Hizbollah and Hamas terrorism are the first steps toward the "total liberation" of "Palestine." In the US, these people would be called traitors. In Israel, they're called Knesset members.
In the elections held for prime minister just two years ago, one factor in the defeat of Prime Minister Ehud Barak was the Arab minority's boycott of the polls.That was the first time in Israeli history that Arabs didn't vote Labor. That's the real reason Labor opposes transfer -- if the Israeli Arabs were to go, Labor would lose its electoral majority power.
This was seen by most political commentators as a dangerous step toward voluntary disenfranchisement of 20 percent of the country.Voluntary disenfranchisement? So they didn't want to vote because Barak was bombing Ramallah every so often and blowing up worthless buildings. This is a "dangerous step"?
Arab politicians have worked hard to convince their constituents that the way to achieve greater economic and social equality — and to realize the goal of a state for their Palestinian cousins — is by engaging in the political process.This is truly unbelievable. Tibi and Bishara used the political process as a Trojan horse. They weren't pressing for Israeli democracy, but for the murder of Jews and the implementation of a "Palestine" from the river to the sea. These parties should have been made illegal a long time ago.
But such efforts may now have been in vain. With their two most outspoken representatives banned, Israeli Arabs are saying that once again, they will stay away from the polls.Good, let them stay away from the polls forever. Because what will Newman say when the Arabs are a majority in Israel, and decide to vote in a Shari'a government?
Even if the Supreme Court allows Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara to run, Israeli Arabs will remain reluctant to vote, because the message of the election committee has been heard loud and clear in Arab towns and villages.I weep for them.
Who can blame them? No Israeli prime minister has ever given leaders of the Arab parties significant positions of power. The argument used to justify the exclusion has been that cabinet discussions are too sensitive to include representatives with Palestinian sympathies.Sounds like a pretty solid argument, considering that the Israeli Arabs in general hate the state of Israel.
The ban on Mr. Tibi and Mr. Bishara demonstrates that it is only a short step from excluding parties from the cabinet to excluding their representatives altogether. By not protesting this exclusion from government positions, we have paved the way for the more extreme antidemocracy measures last week. No matter the decision of the Supreme Court tomorrow, the damage to Israeli democracy has been done.The decision of the Israeli government to ban Tibi and Bishara was a triumph. Tibi and Bishara are evil Islamofascists. They have no place in Israel, let alone in Knesset.