Arab-Israeli MK Shrugs Off Trial Threat
Following talks with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad on Sunday in Damascus, Arab-Israeli MK Azmi Bishara said he was not intimidated by calls in Israel to try him for urging Arabs to join in a struggle against Israel.
Bishara met with Assad for two hours Sunday, after delivering a speech last week at a memorial for the late president Hafez Assad, in which he called on Arabs around the world to join "resistance" against the Jewish state, reported the Associated Press.
Bishara's speech has caused an uproar in Israel, where some lawmakers and ministers have called for a trial and demanded that he be stripped of his Israeli citizenship.
"What I said in my statement in Qerdaha does not differ from what I usually say inside the Israeli Knesset, particularly with reference to (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon's threat of a military option and his attempt to impose his military dictates on all Arab parties," Bishara said.
He said threats to put him on trial "will never intimidate me, and when I return there I will say much more about all issues."
The Palestinian uprising will continue, Bishara said, because of Israeli settlers' practices and a lack of any political option left by the Israeli government.
Bishara, who leaves for Jordan on Monday, said he would continue to arrange visits to Damascus by West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, to reunite them with their relatives in Damascus despite Israeli objections.
He said Syria welcomed such visits and considered them humanitarian, AP quoted him as saying.
The head of Israel's police investigations branch, Moshe Mizrahi, said Saturday that Bishara would be questioned at the first available opportunity on possible offenses arising from his current trip to Syria.
Israel’s Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein has ordered a criminal investigation into Bishara's statements and has advised Sharon and Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit of his decision, said the paper.
"The attorney general has had his say and we will, of course, do what has to be done, and there is apparently a legal basis for dealing with the matter, which appears grave," Mizrahi told Channel 2 - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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