Arab MK Abroad: Boycott of Israel ‘Necessary’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Arab Israeli parliament member Basel Ghattas wears a kafiya around his shoulders as he addresses the Israeli parliament on November 26, 2014. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash9
Arab Israeli parliament member Basel Ghattas wears a kafiya around his shoulders as he addresses the Knesset in 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Many MKs take advantage of the Knesset recess to reach out to supporters in Israel and abroad, journeying to explain Israel’s unique security situation and to appeal for support. United Arab List MK Bassam Ghattas is no different – except that on his trip to the United States and Canada he is encouraging boycotting Israel.

In recordings of speeches made abroad broadcast by Channel Ten, Ghattas said that “1.8 million people are in a state of siege in Gaza. The necessary thing at this time is a boycott of Israel and imposing sanctions on it.”

Ghattas discussed previous political forays of his, and his thoughts about a new law that allows MKs to vote out their fellows for outrageous behavior. “I recently participated in a flotilla to bring aid to Gaza, and when I returned, the hatred, incitement and atmosphere in the Knesset was very ugly. If that law had been on the books at the time I would surely be removed from the Knesset.”

Ghattas said that his entire presence in the Knesset was just a prelude to something bigger. “We see the election to the Knesset as the beginning of a battle,” he said of himself and fellow Balad MKs Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka. “I believe that in not very much time we will decide not to participate in elections at all, and we will boycott them,” at which point Israeli Arabs will “rise up.”