The Knesset has banned Peace Now chairman Yariv Oppenheimer after he ordered three Peace Now activists to illegally pose as students while entering the Knesset for the purpose of interviewing Members of Knesset (MKs). Oppenheim has admitted he sent the three Peace Now activists to pose as students conducting interviews with right-of-center MKs for the purpose of getting on tape spontaneous, provocative statements in response to provocative and insulting questions (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, â€˜Knesset Bans Peace Now Chairman,â€™ Israel National News, October 26, 2009).
The Peace Now activists interviewed MKs Danny Danon (Likud), Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu), supposedly as part of a student project on democracy. Danon said, â€œThey were asking bizarre questions, like how I would prefer to expel Arabs â€“ by bus, or by train. I realized who I was dealing with and told them to leave. I didnâ€™t make a big deal out of it.â€ He added that if Peace Now had asked openly to interview him, he would have agreed, before adding that, â€œBut this just goes to show that they can’t get into the Knesset in any other way. They donâ€™t have an MK, they donâ€™t have enough voter support to get elected, so they were left with this attempt to enter under fictitious pretensesâ€ (Maayana Miskin, â€˜Danon: Criminalize â€œPeace Now,â€â€™ Israel National News, October 26, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, â€œThe revelation of the illegal efforts of Peace Now, originated and supported by its chairman, Yariv Oppenheimer, to interview MKs under false pretences in an attempt to provoke them into making provocative and politically damaging statements is unfortunately not surprising.
â€œPeace Now has a record of making misrepresentations, including false publications claiming that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are built on Palestinian-owned land. Peace Now was eventually compelled in court to pay damages to Jewish owners of the land in question and issue a public apology.
â€œGroups like Peace Now should argue honestly for their political positions without trying to defame their political opponents, including the law-abiding Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria and the MKs who speak for them.â€