MK Nachman Shai, head of the Israeli delegation to the IPU, expressed doubts that such an initiative could succeed, saying, “It seems unlikely. We have good ties in the IPU, at the level of the secretary-general & chairman, and I think our status there is good.”
The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union on Monday voted to move to expel the Knesset from the international IPU due to the “racist laws”’ it allegedly legislates.
The IPU is an international organization for parliaments from all over the world, which works in collaboration with the UN.
The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union is a regional organization composed of Arab lawmakers as well as members of Shura councils in the Arab world. It was established in June 1974 to promote Arab collaboration through political institutions.
The anti-Israel resolution, submitted by Kuwait’s National Assembly speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim, was adopted during the 23rd conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Cairo on Monday, with the participation of lawmakers from all over the Arab world.
The closing statement of the conference included Ghanim’s proposal as well as a recommendation to form a parliamentary committee chaired by Ghanim to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.
The conference, attended by 15 delegations of Arab parliaments, called on all Arab parliaments to support Palestinian efforts to hold an international peace conference to end the “Israeli occupation.”
In addition, the conference authorized a number of moves that will be binding upon all Arab parliaments to support the Palestinian issue, including promotion of the Arab boycott of Israel and supporting the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union), head of the Israeli delegation to the IPU, expressed doubts that such an initiative could succeed, and said he would consult with the Foreign Ministry and Knesset diplomatic adviser Oded Ben-Hur about how to block it.
“We won’t let something like this succeed,” Shai said. “It seems unlikely. We have good ties in the IPU, at the level of the secretary-general and chairman, and I think our status there is good.”
Shai recounted that three weeks ago, when he was at an IPU assembly in Lusaka, Zambia, the Moroccan delegation tried to push forward an anti-Israel motion, claiming it was urgent; it was blocked.
“I got the impression that they didn’t get a lot of sympathy,” he said. “I didn’t feel any specific hostility toward Israel at the assembly, even though I was prepared for the worst.”
Ben-Hur, who was in China accompanying Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein on an official visit, could not be reached for comment.