A new bill spearheaded by MK Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu) which could restrict Arab politicians chances of being elected to the Knesset is set to go before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.
The bill demands that Knesset candidates prove they have never participated in or publicly encouraged "armed struggle" (i.e. terrorism) against the state of Israel.
The move, Gal says, is meant to discourage Arab MKs from participating in events like flotillas that attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Party colleagues Orli Levi-Abekasis, Robert Ilatov and Hamad Amar have all signed on to the bill.
“Reality has made this law very relevant these days, because of the flotilla in which MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) is participating,” Gal said.
“The law will convey an immediate message; I don’t see any MK taking a chance in that situation and getting on a flotilla and then saying he didn’t know and didn’t see. This closes off that option.”
“Our obligation as legislators is to clarify things and not leave too much room for lenient interpretations, certainly not in a situation that’s become increasingly serious,” Gal continued.
“We see attempts to test the boundaries. The acceptance of support for terror over the past few years harms us. Such a flotilla causes shock waves [that encourage] phenomena like BDS. It gives legitimacy and a platform to supporters of our enemies. You see the UN report, things like that have influence.”
The coalition, of which Yisrael Beytenu is not a part of, has yet to formulate an opinion on advancing the bill, though Gal remains optimistic the bill will move to the next step of legislation.