The Arab Ra’am party came under fire on Thursday over the State Comptroller’s report, which found that the faction used public taxpayer funding to pay for engraved plaques, which it awarded to six terrorists who took part in the assault on IDF soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara.
The 5,000 shekel payment was placed under the item for "expenditures for maintaining contact with the party's supporters and voters," according to a State Comptroller report on Knesset members' expenditures which was released earlier on Thursday.
The faction is represented by MKs Ibrahim Sarsour and Masoud Ghanayem, and constitutes half of the Ra'am-Ta'al faction headed by Ahmed Tibi.
MKs from both the left and right sides of the political map condemned Ra’am for its actions and demanded that it be removed from the Knesset.
MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), who chairs the Knesset’s Constitution Committee, responded to the report by saying, “The State Comptroller’s report reveals that the Knesset’s terrorist collaborators used funds paid by loyal citizens to recognize acts of terrorism. The report proves that this group must be removed from the Israeli parliament once and for all.”
“Instead of citizenship and loyalty we are getting citizenship and treachery,” he added.
Likud MK Danny Danon said that the party’s budget should be revoked.
“The Arab MKs have again made it clear that they are loyal to anyone who hates and harms Israel,” Danon said in a statement. “The entire Ra’am-Ta’al faction should join the parliament in Ramallah.”
Another condemnation came from MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), who said, “In light of the findings of the State Comptroller’s report, I call on the House Committee to immediately disqualify the Ra’am-Ta’al list from the Knesset to prevent additional future damage to the State of Israel.”
“Their actions are indicative of a cynical, provocative and deliberate exploitation of the democratic regime in Israel in order to embarrass the State of Israel,” Tirosh added. “The Arab MKs used their immunity to use state funds to support those who are considered our enemies. Providing trophies and rewards to the flotilla terrorists is a slap in the face. This is a despicable act to which an end should be put once and for all.”
The Turkish IHH terrorists on the Marmara tried to kill IDF soldiers who boarded the ship. Nine of them wound up being slain themselves by the Navy commandos.
The anti-Zionist parties Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al have been disqualified by the Elections Commission from running for the Knesset but reinstated by the High Court under President Dorit Beinisch.
The former head of the Balad party, Azmi Bishara, left Israel after the Shin Bet discovered that he had advised Hizbullah precisely where to fire its rockets during the Second Lebanon War.