In a four minute speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) told delegates that they were not doing the PA, Israel, or the peace process a favor by accepting the PLO as, of all things, a “Partner in Democracy.”
Speaking to delegates, Eldad said that a partner in democracy was exactly what the terrorist group was not; among other reasons, because the group, from leader and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on down, has declared that any state it sets up will be free of Jews.
“The last time I heard the term 'Judenrein' used in a political context, it was in Nazi Germany,” Eldad told Arutz 7. “The PACE delegates were certainly not happy to hear that they were supporting a Nazi-like policy.”
Eldad added that providing the PA with these attributes of statehood was just whetting their appetite for the “real thing,” which Israel could not agree to, as any state the PA sets up would be used as a base to destroy Israel. Besides, he said, “I quoted King Husssein, who said very clearly that Jordan is Palestine.”
Eldad had a lot more to say – but he wasn't allowed to continue, because the nominal head of the Israeli delegation to the conference, Kadima MK Doron Avital, “pulled rank,” claiming that only the head of the delegation had the right to address the conference. Eldad, along with Kadima MK Rachel Adato, were part of a delegation that, Eldad thought, had been sent to foil the PA's latest gambit to get a state for “free,” without properly negotiating with Israel.
“But I was apparently mistaken, because according to Doron and the Israeli ambassador to the Council, we apparently support the PLO being called a 'partner in democracy,'" Eldad said.
Throughout the conference, Eldad sought to say his piece, but was stymied by Avital, who told the conference that only he was authorized to speak on behalf of Israel. “Which is nonsense, because at least four or five representatives of each country get to speak in the sessions.”
Appeals to Avital's sense of democracy and fair play proved useless, Eldad was left “speechless” - until the second session, where by sheer dint of luck, he managed to beat Avital to the session and sign in first, giving him the right to speak on behalf of Israel.
“Avital certainly wasn't happy about that, and he made sure to tell delegates afterwards that I do not represent the policies of the state of Israel.” And besides, Avital added – he was the “head of the delegation,” which gave him exclusive right to speak on behalf of Israel.
Which is another nonsensical stance, says Eldad. “I have also been the head of a delegation, and I assure you it is strictly a ceremonial position. It certainly cannot and should not be used to shut out opinions you don't like.”
While Eldad is upset over the incident, he says at least some good came from it. “Doron Avital will no longer be the head of an Israeli delegation,” Eldad says. “I spoke to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin about this, and we both agreed that this was a breach of protocol and responsibility. Avital will not have the opportunity to do this again.”