MK Rotem: Investigate Israeli Leftist Group Who Visited Ramallah
MK David Rotem on Tuesday asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open an investigation against a group of 20 extremist leftists who paid a visit to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Sunday.
It was at that meeting that Abbas revealed that he met several months ago with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jordan. Abbas also told the group that he had met President Shimon Peres three times in the past year. These meetings were not officially disclosed to the Israeli public.
Among those who went to Ramallah Sunday to meet with Abbas in the Muqata were former MK Yael Dayan, former Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Liel, Hebrew University Professor Yaron Haezrachi, sculptor and artist Dani Karavan, authors Sefi Rechlevski and Yoram Kaniuk, among others.
All are known for their radical left-wing views. At the meeting, Liel encouraged Abbas to seek recognition for an Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
“Go to the UN with your request,” he was quoted as telling Abbas. “You are worthy of this, and so are we.” Abbas, they reported, said that he did not expect any violence in the wake of the UN decision on recognizing the PA state, and that security relations with Israel were “excellent.”
Speaking to Israeli reporters after the meeting, Rechlevski, who organized the group, said that “we see the UN decision as a reason to celebrate, as it is a victory of Zionism. This was the dream of most Israelis until June 3, 1967, and there is no reason for us not to be happy at the prospect of a free Palestine. Instead, however, we see a government that is willing to endanger our existence over something that is actually wonderful.”
In his letter to Weinstein, Rotem said that the behavior of the group was unacceptable, and was also against the law, as Ramallah is in Area A, where Israelis are forbidden to enter without a special permit from the IDF. Rotem asked Weinstein to investigate whether such a permit had been issued, adding that to the best of his knowledge, no such permit had been issued.
“This group of self-titled intellectuals, which sees itself as being influential in Israeli society, could cause other Israelis to break the law and act similarly. Besides violating the law, they are setting a bad example, and this, too, needs to be considered,” Rotem wrote.