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Burg Accepts Official PLO Invitation

Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg (Labor) continued to anger his nationalist-camp Knesset colleagues today. He announced from Paris that he and other MKs plan had accepted an official invitation from the PA legislature to appear before that Ramallah body - even over the objections of Prime Minister Sharon.
First Publish: 1/23/2002, 6:44 PM

Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg (Labor) continued to anger his nationalist-camp Knesset colleagues today. He announced from Paris that he and other MKs plan had accepted an official invitation from the PA legislature to appear before that Ramallah body - even over the objections of Prime Minister Sharon. After learning of Burg\'s intentions, Likud coalition leader MK Ze\'ev Boim said he would make all efforts to ensure that Burg not make the trip to Ramallah while serving as Speaker of the Knesset.

Before the above news became known, National Religious Party leader Rabbi Yitzchak Levy called for Burg to be fired. Levy is fuming over Burg\'s recent remarks calling the hope to retain all of the Land of Israel a \"cancerous ideology.\" The NRP leader also said that by meeting with PA leaders in opposition to government policies, \"Burg has turned his public position into a personal political lever, and must therefore leave his job in shame.\"

From yet another direction, MK Moti Mishani of David Levy\'s Gesher party is heading a group of Knesset Members who are demanding an urgent session of the Knesset House Committee regarding Burg\'s plan to visit Ramallah. \"I am strongly against his visit as Knesset Speaker,\" Mishani told Arutz-7 today, \"as it has far-reaching diplomatic ramifications. If he was just a regular MK, I would also object to such a trip, but I\'m not sure that it could be prevented; to go as Knesset Speaker, however, is inconceivable. Knesset delegations must represent the Knesset, and in this instance this is far from the case.\"

Among those demanding that Burg be prevented from going to Ramallah are Ministers Eli Suissa (Shas), Danny Naveh (Likud), and Natan Sharansky (Yisrael B\'Aliyah), as well as MKs Marina Solodkin (Yisrael B\'Aliyah) and Tzvi Hendel (National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu).