Members from the Joint Arab List in Knesset are violating the law by supporting and encouraging youth not to enlist in IDF service, according to a new report published by the pro-Israel watchdog Im Tirtzu.
The report comes ahead of Thursday High Court of Justice hearing, which will discuss the petition filed by the Likud and Otzma Yehudit parties to disqualify the Arab List from running in the upcoming elections on grounds of supporting terrorism.
According to Im Tirtzu’s report, members of the Joint Arab List have explicitly transgressed Section 109 of Israel’s Penal Code, which states that a person is liable to five years imprisonment if he or she “incited or induced a person liable to service in an armed force not to serve in it or not to report for a military.”
The report cites various instances in which members of the party supported or encouraged youth to not enlist in the IDF, including party head Ayman Odeh who as recently as last month uploaded a Facebook post in support of draft-dodging.
“I just left the house of 18-year-old Maya Feigenbaum who decided to refuse to enlist and not to partake in the occupation regime that controls millions of Palestinians in the territories,” wrote Odeh on Facebook.
“There was so much awareness and morality in 18-year-old Maya’s consciousness when she announced: I am refusing to enlist! [Refusers] are our partners and together we will build a just future.”
Also last month, Joint List MK Ofer Cassif – himself a draft-dodger – also uploaded a post in support of draft dodging.
“Meet the brave refuser Maya Brand Feigenbaum, who arrived at the draft center to declare her refusal to enlist in the occupation army,” wrote Cassif. “Be strengthened and encouraged Maya, we are with you.”
Other Joint List members named in the report as having taken part in events encouraging draft-dodging are MK Yousef Jabareen, MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, and MK Osama Saadi.
Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk that compiled the report, said that the report is “a wake-up call to the radical elements that are tearing up Israeli society from within.”
“Enforcing the law and disqualifying the Joint Arab List are the proper steps needed to stop this phenomenon,” continued Nisani. “The time has come that these inciters sit in jail rather than in Knesset.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)