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      MK Whbee Stymies EUROMED Support for PA State

      A Druze Israeli lawmaker managed Sunday to stop a European body from supporting a unilateral declaration of new PA Arab country.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 7/3/2011, 5:01 PM / Last Update: 7/3/2011, 7:39 PM

      Flash 90

      A Israeli lawmaker managed Sunday to stop a European body from approving a motion of support for the unilateral declaration of the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country.

      Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Majallie Whbee (Kadima) represents the State of Israel on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED).

      Whbee noted at the Sunday meeting that the body lacked a quorum due to the absence of representatives from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia. Legally, it was impossible to vote on the declaration as a result, he pointed out.

      The European Union-sponsored body, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, is one of the only forums in which Israel is able to maintain contact with Arab countries in the region, such as Lebanon. Among its members are 240 members of the European Parliament from 27 EU countries. 

      Whbee, a Druze politician, has had his finger on the pulse of Arab politics in the past. Two years ago, he pointedly warned Mohammed ElBaradei, who at the time was head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, that it was time to "stop smiling and start threatening" Iran over its nuclear development program. ElBaradei is currently a candidate for president in the upcoming national elections in Egypt.

      In 2008, Whbee warned that Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, who has in the past flown to enemy Arab countries, could not be counted on to be loyal to the State of Israel.