Gag-Order Lifted: Arab MK Suspected of Aiding Hizbullah

Recently-resigned Arab MK Azmi Bishara is accused of aiding the Hizbullah enemy during last summer's Lebanon War.

Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi,

MK Azmi Bishara
MK Azmi Bishara

The gag-order preventing the publication of the crimes of which former Arab MK Azmi Bishara is accused was removed by an Israeli court Wednesday afternoon.

Bishara is accused of aiding an enemy during wartime, transmitting information to an enemy, contact with a foreign agent, violations of money-laundering laws, and more. He is under suspicion of having received a large amount of money for his acts, some of which occurred during last year's Second War in Lebanon. The former MK allegedly pocketed the money in his personal bank account.

A Petach Tikva court partially lifted the gag-order on the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon. The court plans to allow publication of the full story within a week.

Ex-MK Bishara, who was questioned by police twice in the past, told his interrogators that he plans to leave the country, but would return for a continued investigation. After leaving the country last month, friends now say it is not certain whether he plans to return in the near future. He has surfaced in Jordan, Qatar and Egypt, and his family returned to Israel last week.

Bishara's resignation, submitted to the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Sunday, went into effect yesterday (Tuesday).

Reactions
MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party) said that Bishara "must be caught, wherever he is in the world, and brought to Israel on charges of treason." Some instances of treason during wartime, as well as Nazi war crimes, are the only crimes punishable by death under Israeli law.
MK Yoel Hason (Kadima) said he will work to establish a Knesset inquiry committee into the former Knesset Member's behavior and the grave suspicions against him. "Today the true face of Israel's greatest traitor has been revealed," Hason said. "The Knesset must investigate, and must decide regarding security clearances for all MKs, and for Arab-party MKs in particular."

A Yisrael Beiteinu party statement reads: "Azmi Bishara is not the problem, but rather its display window. Bishara and his friends have long crossed the red line, but the State has hidden its head in the sand. Our party tried in the past to prevent the entry of the Trojan horse into the Knesset..."

Hevron activist Baruch Marzel demands that the Attorney General outlaw Bishara's political party, Balad. "The Attorney General must correct the injustice that was done when our pleas [to outlaw Balad] were not answered," Marzel said, noting that the Israeli political system outlawed Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach party in the 1980's.





top