Fifth Column

Maybe it’s only because I’ve failed to pay attention, but I was shocked by the reaction of Arab members of Israel’s Knesset to the current conflict. Arab MKs united to oppose Israel’s effort to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, and some Arab members declared their solidarity with their fellow Arabs in the Strip:

Some 200 kilometers away from the Gaza Strip, the Knesset became a battleground on Monday between Jewish MKs, who unanimously supported the IDF operation there, and Arab MKs, who united against it. …

“The panicking in Sderot was unfortunate, but who said the reaction had to be rivers of blood in Gaza?” Ta’al MK Ahmed Tibi said in his speech from the Knesset podium. “I am against harming any citizen. But I admit that when Arabs – people of my nationality – are harmed, it hurts me more.” Tibi accused the Jewish politicians who spoke before him of “counting bodies while they count mandates.”

Hadash MK Muhammad Barakei added that he was in his one and only homeland, while the Jewish MKs had other homelands to return to.

If Mr. Tibi thinks that the “people of his nationality” are Arabs in Palestine, he has no business serving in Israel’s Knesset. And Mr. Barakei’s suggestion that Jewish Israelis have “other homelands to return to” is disgusting. I can only agree with MK Avigdor Lieberman:

Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman called the Arab MKs traitors and a “fifth column for the Hamas.”

Around 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab. Prior to the liberation of Iraq, they were the only Arabs in the world who could vote in a real election. One wonders how wisely they have exercised their franchise.

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