Knesset to Crack Down on MKs Promoting Boycott

Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas seen in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas seen in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

MK Basel Ghattas’ (Joint List) appearance in Montreal earlier this month where he promoted the boycott against Israel has prompted a move in the Knesset to punish such behavior, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The Knesset House Committee chairman Yoav Kisch (Likud) said that he intends to amend regulations to impose sanctions on Knesset members for activity of this kind that is deemed harmful to the state. The change will be introduced in October, when the Knesset returns from summer recess.

“It’s absurd,” Kisch said, “that we are still giving license to encourage boycotting Israel to our MKs. Ghattas has a license from the Knesset; a license to boycott the state of Israel in his travels around the world.”

“Those licenses must be confiscated,” he declared.

Ghattas’ office did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawmaker from Balad, one of the four parties that make up the Joint List, denounced Israel as an apartheid state, and advocated international sanctions to coerce it into allowing a Palestinian state.

Several MKs called for ousting Ghattas from the Knesset. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) said that “an MK calling for the destruction of the country he represents cannot sit in the legislature of that country. Imagine a member of Congress calling for the destruction of the U.S. That is essentially what Ghattas did,” Oren charged.