Ethics Committee won't allow MK to travel for anti-Israel tour

Ethics Committee turns down MK Jabareen's request to travel abroad for speaking tour funded by BDS-supporting organization.

Nitsan Keidar,

Yousef Jabareen
Yousef Jabareen
Miriam Alster, Flash 90

The Knesset's Ethics Committee turned down a request to allow Joint Arab List MK Yousef Jabareen to travel abroad on a speaking tour funded by an anti-Israel organization which boycotts Israel and which appears on the Ministry of Strategic Affairs' list of BDS-associated organizations.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asked the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to investigate the request and submit a recommendation. As a result of the Ministry's recommendation, the Ethics Committee decided not to approve Jabareen's request.

The French AFPS organization, which would have funded the proposed trip, admits to working with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement within France, as well as in Europe and around the world.

An investigation by Arutz Sheva revealed that one of AFPS' goals for 2017-2018 is to continue calling for boycott of Israel, as well as of specific companies located in Judea and Samaria. Another of AFPS' goals is to pressure France's Foreign Minister into harming his country's diplomatic relations with Israel.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) told Arutz Sheva that the Knesset had approved similar travel requests in the past, but are currently being examined.

"We succeeded in preventing MK Yousef Jabareen of the Joint Arab List from traveling abroad on a trip paid for by the AFPS organization, which openly calls to boycott Israel. Members of Knesset continue embracing these BDS organizations, which call to destroy the State of Israel as a Jewish state," Erdan said.

"I will continue using every tool I have in order to ensure that in the next Knesset, there are no MKs who identify and cooperate with Israel's enemies."

A statement from Jabareen read, "This is the second time that Jabareen's request to travel abroad has not been approved because of the organization funding the trip. Jabareen has submitted an appeal via the Adalah Center regarding the Ethics Committee's first decision to prevent him from traveling to the US on a trip funded by JVP. Jabareen holds a doctorate in law and he is the Joint Arab List's Chairman of International Relations."

Jabareen told us that the decision "is a difficult and dangerous blow to MKs' political freedom of speech and movement. These restrictions serve the right-wing government and are used to silence critical MKs' political stance. I will not give in to the dictates of an extreme right-wing government."