A session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Commitee was postponed over the controversial participation of an Israeli Arab lawmaker. The sensitive panel was to have heard Monday from the military chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, but the briefing was deferred given a debate over whether Issam Mahoul of the United Arab List should be allowed to take part. Mahoul, the second Arab ever appointed to the committee, drew censure across the Israeli political spectrum by meeting earlier this month with Palestinian Authority lawmakers from Hamas. Several faction heads called for him to be disqualified from the panel, if not from the Knesset. Leading Israeli Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi protested the postponement of the session, arguing that Mahoul was being penalized for his political views.
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