Far-right Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) sent a letter on Tuesday, July 2, to the Knesset’s legal advisor, Atty. Eyal Yanun, suggesting that, according to Knesset rules, the Ethics Committee must decide whether MK Yousef Jabareen (Hadash) will be allowed to travel to a major event on Palestine to be held in London this coming weekend because the conference is organized by the pro-Palestinian organization, Friends of Al-Aqsa.
In his letter Erdan cited an amendment added six months ago to the Knesset’s house rules, whereby the Ethics Committee must weigh whether or not to approve travel abroad by an MK when the trip is funded by elements who publicly call for a boycott of Israel.
“Accordingly, I request that the Ethics Committee examine and consider not approving the travel to be funded by this body, whose purpose is to harm the State of Israel and de-legitimize it,” Erdan wrote.
Furthermore, a pro-Israeli British group with close ties to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has come under fire for “muzzling free speech in the UK” during what appears to be a desperate attempt to scuttle the same event that MK Jabareen seeks to attend this weekend in London. A frantic effort to block the two-day “Palestine Expo” saw the the group, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), attempt to have the conference cancelled by pressuring the German owners of the venue, the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London.
UKLFI admitted that after the management of the Exhibition Centre refused to cancel the event, dismissing the UKLFI’s complaint, the pro-Israel group contacted three of Olympia’s German co-owners and appealed to them to overrule management’s decision, based on recently passed German anti-BDS legislation, but without success.
Back in March 2018, the Knesset Ethics Committee previously barred MK Yousef Jabareen from traveling abroad on a trip funded by the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an American group that appears on the Strategic Affairs Ministry list of groups supporting BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.