Once again: the Israeli government against MK Barakeh

The Foreign Ministry files an official grievance against Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh on Tuesday, alleging that “he traveled on an official visit to Poland on behalf of the Palestinian Authority”.

The complaint said that Barakeh traveled on behalf of the PA on two separate occasions, thus violating Knesset regulations.  The trips date back to 2010. According to the complaint, in January of last year Barakeh joined an official Israeli mission to Auschwitz, a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in occupied Polish territories annexed by Nazi Germany. According to the Foreign Ministry “at some point in the delegation’s visit to Poland he joined several PA officials who were visiting the country as well.”

MK Barakeh in Auschwitz (Photo: the Knesset)

The extreme-right “Legal Forum for the Land of Israel” filed a complaint against Hadash’s chairman with the Knesset’s Ethics Committee, demanding an investigation into the matter.  A statement by MK Barakeh said: “The fact that the Foreign Ministry is hunting Lieberman’s political rivals is very serious. Both the state comptroller and the attorney general should investigate the ministry’s abnormal conduct”.

“I represent a peace and social justice platform which got me elected – not the government,” he added. “When I accept an official invitation I coordinate it with the Ethics Committee. I’m under no obligation to do that when it comes to private trips – those are done at my expense. This was the case in my meetings in Poland, including with officials from the Polish Foreign Ministry.”