Whose side are they on?

It would be crude to ask Arab Knesset members “whose side are you on?”, but sometimes one feels that it’s appropriate.

Arab MKs were infuriated Monday morning by the appearance of Reform Party of Syria leader Farid Ghadry at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee [FADC].

“Ghadry decided to act against his people and his country, and chose to be a mercenary for Americans,” Hadash Chairman Muhammad Barakei argued.

“He came to act as a wretched servant for the belligerent agenda and the extreme right wing. Scum is bad, but American scum of this kind is much worse,” Barakei added.

MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) stopped Ghadry in the Kneseet corridor and accosted him in Arabic: “Aren’t you ashamed? You should be ashamed, coming here as a cheap pawn of [Likud Chairman Binyamin] Netanyahu. — Jerusalem Post

So what outrage did Ghadry commit to deserve this?

Ghadry clearly stated on Sunday that he still believed that the Golan Heights belonged to Syria and he planned to make a point of it during the FADC meeting.

Ghadry told an audience at the Harry Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University that Israel should refrain from making peace with Syria’s current dictatorship until its leadership becomes a democracy.

“Syria will become democratic, have patience … Peace with a non-democratic Syria … is perilous and short-sighted.”

I might add that returning the Golan Heights to a Syria which is not only non-democratic, but engaged in a huge military buildup — as well as sponsoring and supplying Hezbollah in its own war preparations — would be foolhardy in the extreme. One doesn’t need to be a member of the “extreme right-wing” to see this!

Like former MK Azmi Bishara, who fled the country following accusations of espionage on behalf of Syria during the Lebanon war, his colleagues apparently feel that their interests lie closer to those of Syria than Israel.

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