From THE JERUSALEM POST, Jan. 6, 2010, by Danny Ayalon:
... while Arab MKs [Members of the Knesset] are becoming more extreme and less allied with the state that pays their wages, many of their constituents are seeking greater integration with the Jewish state.
A recent report published by Shlomit, the National Service Placement Organization, indicated that the past year has seen an almost 100-percent increase in the number of Arab-Israelis volunteering for National Service. While the total numbers are not staggering, they do represent a sizable portion of the Israeli Arab sector that is moving toward greater civic responsibility.
During a recent rally at the Erez crossing, Balad MK Jamal Zahalka hurled disgraceful abuse at Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who he said enjoys "classical music and killing children in Gaza." He then reiterated these remarks in an interview with Dan Margalit on theNew Evening TV show until Margalit became so incensed with this blood libel that he ordered Zahalka to leave.
Earlier at the same rally, MK Taleb a-Sanaa (UAL-Ta'al) allowed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to use his cellphone as a speaker to direct his torrent of abuse against Israel to the assembled crowd. Sanaa is an employee of the state and thus receives certain benefits like a cellphone, which means that our taxes were being used by a member of an organization sworn to destroy our state. This is unacceptable and should be a matter of concern for all.
Can one imagine a scenario where an American congressman relayed the rants of Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri to a crowd in the US using a state-funded communications device? No nation on earth would accept this situation, and this is why Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch has rightly demanded that Sanaa be charged with supporting a terrorist organization.
IT HAS long been clear to us that the public declarations of many Arab MKs are primarily for foreign consumption, where they seek the approval of extreme elements in the wider Arab world. These elected officials do not serve their constituents' interests properly and continually propel outside agendas at the cost of providing adequate representation to the Arab Israeli population.
It is clear, not only from Shlomit's statistics, but also from our frequent visits to Arab towns and villages, that many in these communities are interested in greater partnership with the state and its institutions. However, actions and comments like those by Zahalka, Sanaa and, most notoriously, former MK Azmi Bishara, have tarnished the image of the Arab Israeli leadership.
...It is time to create a legal bar of acceptable behavior for an elected official who receives his stipend and benefits from the taxpayers' purse.
...We must make it clear that when one is elected to Knesset, representation is for the people of Israel only and not foreign elements, especially those involved in murderous terrorism. MKs are elected by the people, to serve the people, and are funded by taxpayers' money; it is to the Jewish and democratic State of Israel and its laws that they remain accountable.
Israel Beiteinu applauds those Arab Israelis who volunteer for the army or National Service and continually seek greater integration with our state. To those in the Arab Israeli leadership who continually pander to foreign elements and ignore their constituency, we will continue to remind them that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. No other nation can accept less.