Friday, April 30, 2010

Palestinian Israelis, the Arab World and Gadhafi

I usually don't understand it when Israeli authorities deny Palestinian citizens of Israel the right to travel to Arab countries. They are part of the Arab world, and should be able to interact with their fellow Arabs. This is especially true when it comes to cultural interaction. When the government recently denied author Ala Hlehel the right to travel to Lebanon to accept a reward at an Arab literary festival, the Supreme Court rightly stepped in and allowed him to go to Lebanon.

There should be certain limits to the right to travel to Arab countries, though. Meeting with leaders and terrorist groups to plot against Israel should not be tolerated.

That's not exactly what the delegation of Arab Knesset Members did when it visited Muammar Gadhafi in Libya this week. It was just bizzare. Why suck up to such an eccentric, ruthless leader? I don't think the MK's should be punished for this trip. It doesn't seem anything threatening to Israel came out of it. The only thing that was threatened was these particular MK's reputations.

Salman Masalha, an Israeli Arab, expressed his own frustration in yesterday's Haaretz. It's an interesting read. Here it is in English, and here it is in Hebrew.

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