MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) was sworn in to the Knesset Thursday. Miller, who served in the 17th and 18th Knessets (2006-2013) replaces former MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud), who is Israel's new ambassador to the OECD. Miller was placed in the 33rd slot on Likud-Beytenu's joint list in the elections for the present, 19th Knesset, and just missed entering the parliament. However, recent reshuffling has allowed him in for the remainder of the term.
Miller expressed gratitude to his party and its leader, Minister Avigdor Liberman, for placing him back in the plenum. He then spoke on the issue of the Balad party in the Knesset, specifically discussing the conviction and sentencing of former Balad MK Sa'id Nafa earlier Thursday.
“Balad is like ISIS, as far as we are concerned,” Miller said, drawing a parallel between the Israeli Arab political party and the terrorists group operating in Syria and Iraq. “We will work to erase the evil from the face of Balad. This is a party whose member is now to serve a year in prison for contacting terrorist foreign agents, a party whose MK was suspected of spying for our enemies during wartime, and ran away from Israel like a scared rabbit, a party whose MK is being questioned on charges of incitement.”
Nafa was sentenced to two concurrent terms of six months and a year in prison for traveling to Syria in 2007 and meeting with a top terrorist of the Popular Front organization, Talal Naji, and other terrorists as well. Ironically, Nafa had replaced another rogue MK – Azmi Bishara, who also met with enemy agents and disclosed Israeli military secrets to them. Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007, is still a fugitive from justice, accused of treason and espionage during the Second Lebanon War. He is the "scared rabbit" that Miller alluded to.
Miller also referred to the current questioning of another Balad MK, Hanin Zoabi. On Sunday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) filed a petition with the High Court demanding that the Attorney General begin the process of filing an indictment against Zoabi on charges of incitement for her comments justifying the abduction and subsequent murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha'ar.
When the teens were abducted, Zoabi said that the kidnappers were "not terrorists. Is it strange that people who are under the Occupation and living an abnormal life, under an occupation in which Israel kidnaps Palestinian Arabs and jails them every day, go ahead and kidnap? They are not terrorists, I do not agree with you,” she told an interviewer on Radio Tel Aviv. “They have seen no other way to change their reality and they have to resort to these measures until Israel sobers up a bit and feels the suffering of others."
Balad, said Miller, “cynically uses Israeli democracy to destroy the country. Balad and its ilk have no place in the Knesset, and Yisrael Beyteinu will work to make them illegal,” he added.