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      Jordanian Lawyers Seek Arrest of Two Knesset Legislators

      First it was Europe. Now it is Jordan, where lawyers want an arrest warrant of two Knesset MK for their calling Jordan a “Palestinian” state.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 1/5/2010, 9:35 AM / Last Update: 1/5/2010, 9:56 AM

      Flash 90

      Lawyers in Jordan have petitioned its courts for an arrest warrant for Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and National Union Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad for their labeling Jordan a “Palestinian state.” They told government attorneys that the legislators' statements constitute a threat to Jordanian security.

      Jordan signed a peace accord with Israel 15 years ago, but relations have chilled in the recent years as demands of the Palestinian Authority have grown. The two MKs, Rivlin, a veteran Likud legislator, and Eldad, a long-time National Union lawmaker, said Jordan's existence as a country for Palestinians precludes the need for the PA’s existence in Israel. Jordan announced last week it is cutting imports of Jewish products from Judea and Samaria as part of a growing boycott against Israel.

      Jordan also has failed to implement agreements with Israel for interfaith dialogue. Jewish visitors have been stopped at the Jordanian border several times for carrying religious items, such as tefillin (phylacteries).

      High Court Justice Elyakim Rubenstein recently commented, “The peace agreement with Jordan is not as warm as we would have liked.”

      The Jordanian lawyers’ appeal comes at the same time that Israel has rejected a British invitation to senior officers because the British government said it was not able to promise that the officers would not face arrest.

      Photo: Ayalon   Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon commented Tuesday morning, “This not only damages us but also damages Britain,” who he said is at the “mercy of terrorists.” Ayalon noted that the recent wave of threats in European countries to arrest Israeli military and political leaders is a result of terrorists exploiting the law that originally was aimed at Nazis.

      He said he will explain to visiting British Attorney-General Baroness Scotland of Ashtal that the law needs to be changed and that she should have the power to affirm or deny appeals to arrest officials.

      Last month, a British judge authorized an arrest warrant for former Foreign Minister and acting Prime Minister Tzipi Livni because of alleged IDF crimes in the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign last year. She cancelled her trip although claimed she did so because of a busy travel schedule and without any connection with the arrest warrant.