Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. (Hadas Parush/Flash90) (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Avigdor Liberman

Israel’s defense minister revoked on Wednesday the VIP entry permit of Mohammed Al-Madani, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) outreach liaison to Israeli society, on charges that he committed “subversive political activities.”

The Defense Ministry says Avigdor Liberman revoked the permit of Mohammed Al-Madani because he meddled in Israeli politics and tried to create a political party that included Arab citizens of Israel and Mizrahi Jews, or those of Middle Eastern descent. The VIP permit had allowed Al-Madani to enter Israel without the standard checkpoint searches.

The defense minister said that “Madani tried to work with Israeli Bedouin and with Jews,” activity that he said was an unacceptable effort by a foreign agent to set up a party.

Al-Madani said he met with hundreds of Israelis across the political spectrum in an attempt to reactivate the moribund peace process and reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He denied he was starting a party.

In an announcement issued in Hebrew, Al-Madani said the cancellation of his permit exposes the “racist character … Liberman brought to the Israeli defense ministry.”

Moroccan-born Reuven Abergel, a longtime Mizrahi activist, called Liberman’s announcement “patronizing.” He said he met with Al-Madani two years ago to discuss peace, but claimed it was not to found a party.

“A democratic state doesn’t shut its people’s mouths and prevent them from creating dialogue,” he said.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff

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