Police at the scene of the Tel Aviv bus bombing, Nov 21 2012. (Flash90/Roni Schutzer) (Flash90/Roni Schutzer)
Tel Aviv bus bombing

Why are foreign countries such as Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium trying to force Israel to give citizenship to terrorists who try to murder Israeli civilians?

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Alaa Ziad is an Arab-Israeli who was stripped of his Israeli citizenship after being convicted of attempted murder for a car ramming and stabbing attack at the Gan Shmuel interchange in 2015 that left four Israelis wounded. Ziad is now serving a 25-year sentence for his crime.

“There is no need to speak at length about the importance of Israeli citizenship, which entails an obligation of loyalty between the citizen and his country and between the state and its citizens,” then-Interior Minister Silvan Shalom said. “Even more, when citizenship is put to evil use, to harm civilians or national security.”

Ziad is not the only terrorist to meet this fate. For instance, Mahmoud Mafarja was a Palestinian minor when he was granted Israeli residency in 1995 and he became a citizen in 2008. In 2012 he planted a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus that exploded, injuring 24 people. He is also serving a 25-year sentence for the terror attack, after which a court revoked his residency rights.

Despite their attempts to commit mass murder, petitions were filed to the court on behalf of Ziad and Mafaria to maintain their citizenship. The lawsuits are pursued by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which claims the court is “biased” against their clients.

Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher and ACRI Attorney Oded Feller wrote in a previous Supreme Court appeal that “the Haifa court’s decision discriminates against Arab citizens of Israel and labels them in a racist manner.”

Adalah has an operating budget of millions of shekels per year, donated by “Switzerland (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs), the European Union, Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), UNDP, and Open Society Foundation,” according to an NGO Monitor report.

“Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, Adalah received NIS 19,212,890 from foreign governmental bodies in 2012-2019,” the watchdog group explained.

The report continues, “In 2014-2017, Adalah received a core funding grant of $341,700 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (a joint funding mechanism of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands that closed in December 2017).”

Why are foreign countries such as Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium trying to force Israel to give citizenship to terrorists who try to murder Israeli civilians?

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