MK Ayman Odeh Still Sits in the Knesset?

The Haaretz Conference in New York provided news.

There was the flag incident.  There was President Rivlin’s presence at a New Israel Fund-funded event with BDS promoters and Breaking The Silence people.

Another New York Israel-related event was the Joint List’s MK Ayman Odeh’s visit as well.

In short, an Arab MK goes to a meeting at AIPAC, an American organization in NY, finds out the Jewish Agency is in the same building and cancels it. What gives here?

TOI quoted him saying

“I came here to represent the Arab public in Israel to American audiences…As their representative, I cannot in good conscience participate in meetings in the offices of organizations whose work displaces Arab citizens, just as in the Knesset, we do not participate in the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption.”

I have a surprise for him.

There is actually a Knesset Jewish Agency Law which reads, in part:

(STATUS) LAW, 5713-1952*
1. The State of Israel regards itself as the creation of the entire Jewish people, and its gates are open, in accordance with its laws, to every Jew wishing to immigrate to it…

4. The State of Israel recognises the World Zionist Organisation as the authorised agency which will continue to operate in the State of Israel for the development and settlement of the country, the absorption of immigrants from the Diaspora and the coordination of the activities in Israel of Jewish institutions and organisations active in those fields…
7. Details of the status of the World Zionist Organisation – whose representation is the Zionist Executive, also known as the Executive of the Jewish Agency – and the form of its cooperation with the Government shall be determined by a Covenant to be made in Israel between the Government and the Zionist Executive.
8. The Covenant shall be based on the declaration of the 23rd Zionist Congress in Jerusalem that the practical work of the World Zionist Organisation and its various bodies for the fulfilment of their historic tasks in Eretz-Israel requires full cooperation and coordination on its part with the State of Israel and its Government, in accordance with the laws of the State…

Given this legal nexus, how come he sits in the Knesset at all?  How does he accept his salary if all is somehow tainted?

I won’t ask about his presence in Israel as that would be too in-his-face but I will point out the use of the term Eretz-Israel, the Land of Israel, and not the “state”.  I think the using of that term should solve the EU’s labeling difficulty.

As to Odeh, I doubt anything I could suggest could solve any of his problems as a Communist yet Arab nationalist and his relationship with Israel, Zionism and the Jewish character of the state.

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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