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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bishara's hypocrisy

I finally got around to reading Azmi Bishara's self-righteous article that was printed in the LA Times titled "Why Israel is After Me."

Along with the absurd fact that he compares himself with Dreyfus, he pretty much says that Arabs in Israel are discriminated against and his mentioning it is what makes Israel uncomfortable, to the point of wanting him arrested for treason.

As ridiculous as it is to read a (now former) Arab member of the Jewish state's Knesset whine about how hard his life is, one must wonder about the hypocrisy of his mentioning that there are various laws in Israel that favor Jews over Arabs (I'm not sure if allowing Arabs to skip army service is considered one of those laws.)

The draft PA constitution includes the following:
Palestine is part of the Arab nation. The state of Palestine abides by the charter of the League of Arab States. The Palestinian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations. Arab unity is a goal, the Palestinian people hopes to achieve.

Arabic and Islam are the official Palestinian language and religion.

The principles of Islamic Shari’a are a major source for legislation.
When I hear Bishara complain about these parts of the PA constitution (draft as of 2003, before Hamas entered the government) I can believe that he truly cares about discrimination.

And for those who care, here is the background of the case against Bishara:
If Bishara returns, he will be indicted for spying on behalf of Hezbollah during the second Lebanon war by providing them with with targets for their attacks, as well as with classified military information.

Bishara will be accused of assisting the enemy in a time of war, maintaining contact with a foreign agent, passing information to an enemy, money laundering and terrorist financing.

The first of those charges, assisting the enemy in a time of war, is one of the rare offenses punishable by death in Israel - a clause which has never been used.
Bishara did not make contact with Hezbollah in secret. He openly traveled to Damascus and to Beirut during the Hezbollah missile attacks on Israel last summer.

Israeli intelligence officials have placed their hands on what the former MK allegedly transferred to Hezbollah, in terms of information, predictions, assessments and recommendations, which included selected targets in northern Israel that Hezbollah fired on at the specific instructions of Bishara.

It has now been revealed that the Israeli Supreme Court issued confidential authorization to Israeli intelligence to tap Bishara's telephone conversations, a tactic that can only be employed with the court's approval. The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the office of the Israel Attorney-General's office.

According to Israeli intelligence officials, Bishara received detailed missions from Hezbollah, which he carried out.

He also allegedly transferred military information to Hezbollah that, according to Israeli intelligence, he knew to have been classified by the IDF censor. Bishara also allegedly informed Hezbollah of what he called "Israel's intention to target Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah."

Bishara was questioned by the Israel Police's International Serious Crimes Unit on March 22 and 23 in Petah Tikva, in two three-hour sessions.

ISCU head Lt.-Cmdr. Amichai Shai said Bishara was confident when he arrived for the first day of questioning. But when the MK understood that the allegations against him were more serious than he had thought, there was a noticeable change in his behavior.

During the questioning, Bishara said he planned to travel abroad for several days. Due to his parliamentary immunity, authorities were unable to prevent him from leaving the country. Police continued to communicate with Bishara's representatives, extending the deadline for the MK's return until April 24.

Bishara is also accused of receiving at least hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally. The money was transferred from a money-exchange office in Jordan to another in east Jerusalem in envelopes, and from there to his home in Beit Hanina. In some cases, he received the funds in dollars, and in other cases in shekels. Each transfer was equivalent to $50,000.

On April 26, after his resignation went into effect, police searched Bishara's homes in Beit Hanina and in Haifa, as well as his office in Nazareth. Earlier this week, police searched Bishara's office in the Knesset after receiving special permission.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Bishara tried to defend himself in an op-ed entitled, "Why Israel is after me."

In that LA Times piece, Bishara describes himself as a new "Dreyfus," to conjure up the image of the French Jewish officer Dreyfus who was wrongly accused of treason against his homeland in France.

Yet Bishara, given the platform of the LA Times editorial page, does not refute the charges leveled against him, preferring, instead, to point out that "Hezbollah - Israel's enemy in Lebanon - has independently gathered more security information about Israel than any Arab Knesset member could possibly provide."