TEL AVIV – Arab-Israeli Knesset members are collaborating with the Palestinian Authority in a smear campaign against the Jewish state at the United Nations, Israel’s envoy to the international body Danny Danon said on Sunday.
“The Palestinian delegation, in cooperation with Knesset members from the Arab parties, is planning steps aimed at smearing Israel and damaging its image through incitement and lies,” Danon said.
His remarks came after Joint (Arab) List MK Aida Touma-Sliman had a meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo in New York in a bid to garner support for the party’s campaign against Israel’s newly passed Nation-State Law.
The Palestinian Authority has warned that it would act against Israel at the UN General Assembly over the legislation. A possible draft resolution would including pushing for Israel’s ouster from the UN, a move that would no doubt be blocked by the US veto at the Security Council.
“In the last two years, we have witnessed close cooperation between Knesset members and the Palestinian delegation in the UN, whose activities incite and defame against the State of Israel, and are celebrated on the international stage,” Danon said.
“For example, MK Aida Touma-Sliman participated in a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation, and MK Ahmad Tibi participated in an anti-Israel event of the Palestine Conference on November 29,” he added.
“I find fault with the fact that acting Knesset members are cooperating with these initiatives and are cynically exploiting their positions as official representatives of the state in order to harm it in the international arena,” Danon said.
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein also slammed Arab lawmakers for willfully taking salaries from Israeli taxpayers.
“Anyone who cooperates with the Palestinian Authority against Israel should ask themselves whether their rightful place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament,” Edelstein said.
Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) asked the House Committee to implement penalties on lawmakers who act against Israel in the international arena.
Even parliamentarians who opposed the nation-state law slammed the Arab-Israeli efforts.
Zionist Union Party head Avi Gabbay said, “Joint List parliamentarians denigrate our country everywhere and we will continue to fight this phenomenon.”
He added, however, that the last person to lodge a complaint about them should be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “who warmly shook [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat’s hand, released 1,000 Hamas terrorists, lost to Hamas in Operation Protective Edge and brought [Hamas leader] Salah al-Arouri to the Gaza Strip.”
Twouma-Sliman called that the Nation-State Law “an apartheid law” that is “reminiscent of dark and tyrannical regimes.” She said her party has “a moral obligation” to battle against such racism and discrimination.
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen said, “The Netanyahu government is not above international law.”