Any time the subject of Arab legislators or Arab parties in Israel comes up, someone always feels the tiresome need to mouth off about how horrible Arab members of Knesset are. With crocodile tears, they accuse those MKs of manipulating or forgetting Arab citizens and getting lost in their occupation obsession (a thin guise for their real goal which is the destruction of Israel), instead of working to improve the lives of their voters. With all due respect, I’d like to blow this nonsense out of the water with a few facts. A recent quantitative study by the Abraham Fund…Read More... | 17 Comments
Two of the most well-spoken public figures in Israel are MK Ahmad Tibi and former settler leader Dani Dayan. Dr. Tibi is known to lecture to the Knesset plenum in prose, and is considered one of the MKs with the best command of the Hebrew language. Dayan, on the other hand, has the uncanny ability to make even the most die-hard two-state advocate question their political belief system. But just because two people are elegant and gifted orators doesn't mean they can't get into an old fashion, tit-for-tat Twitter battle -- and that's exactly what happened today. I've translated the…Read More... | 11 Comments
Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party and the rising star of the right, is considered the new, modern and hospitable face of the hard right. His rise in the polls has won him international attention, and the New York Times has called him "the campaign’s most dynamic and influential factor." But underneath the smooth look there seems to be just plain old racism. Here is Bennett in a television debate in 2010 with Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi. In the beginning, Tibi says that he sees a place for Jews ("but not settlers") in the future Palestinian State,…Read More... | 41 Comments
First MK Michael Ben-Ari tore the New Testament to pieces in his chambers. (See photo here) Then, MK Ahmad Tibi tore a photograph of Ben-Ari's mentor, the late and racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, over the Knesset podium. (Watch here) And now, another disciple of Kahane, Baruch Marzel, posted the photo below of Tibi as a pig. Ben-Ari posted it on his Facebook wall, and has about 200 "likes" at this time. Children playing with fire. (If you're on Facebook, please report. I did.) h/t Nir HoffmanRead More... | 8 Comments
Two days ago, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari was photographed in his chambers tearing up a copy of the New Testament. Yeterday, MK Ahmad Tibi responded. I'm quite tired of MK Tibi's gimmicks and theatrics and what seems to be a constant need to get a headline. I agree with Speaker Reuven Rivlin who claims it just lowers the Knesset's "esteem" (what esteem exactly, I don't know... but still). Yet, I can't shake the feeling that if I had a picture of a man who for me epitomizes so much of the evil that has cursed this world through generations…Read More... | 7 Comments
Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi [Raam-Taal] tweeted this status on Friday: I oppose the entrance of infiltrators from Eritrea because they are coming to work instead of the Palestinians, but if they are here, they should be treated in a humane way, and not with the barbarity of (MK Danny) Danon and (MK Miri) Regev Some Israeli liberals on Twitter attacked Tibi for the first part of the sentence, and he later said that he should have not used the term "infiltrators" but instead refer to the Africans as immigrants who seek work. Eritrean citizens comprise most of the Africans who…Read More... | 39 Comments
Hunger striking prisoner Bilal Diab collapsed during a High Court of Justice hearing. The Prison Service disregarded a judicial order to let MK Ahmad Tibi treat him. Bilal Diab, an administrative detainee on the 66th day of his hunger strike, collapsed today (Thursday) during a hearing in his case in the High Court of Justice. Despite his failing health, the High Court has yet to rule on his case, and while it may still rule today, it is likely the ruling will be postponed to Sunday. As Diab was removed from the courtroom, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said "there is…Read More... | 8 Comments
In his Foreign Policy piece, Israel's ambassador to Washington repeated the false claim that MK Tibi expressed support for suicide attacks. Tibi has now sent an official letter to the Foreign Ministry, demanding a retraction. Of all the factual errors, omissions and half-truths in Ambassador Michael Oren's piece at Foreign Policy, titled "Israel’s Resilient Democracy," perhaps the most troubling was this paragraph, which regurgitates a long-debunked lie about the Deputy Speaker of Oren's own parliament, MK Ahmad Tibi (Raam-Taal / United Arab List): ...In fact, Israel has tolerated acts that would be deemed treasonous in virtually any other democracy. Ahmed…Read More... | 14 Comments
The recent mini drama in the Knesset that featured MK Ghaleb Majadele (Labor), MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) and MK Ahmad Tibi (Raam-Taal) has shifted the focus away from the real story: Knesset conduct prohibits the Palestinian minority from raising issues over their collective rights through democratic and legislative channels. By Fady Khoury The "drama" in a nutshell: MK Michaeli poured a cup of water on MK Majadele in a heated Education Committee debate on the potential dismissal of a Palestinian school principal who took students to a human rights march that had been held in Tel Aviv. The Knesset's…Read More... | 3 Comments
New Knesset bill aims to have "Jewish nature" of state preferred over democracy, cancel official status of Arabic, and have Jewish law "guide" courts' rulings There is one talking point repeated in every hasbara (the Hebrew term for state sponsored propaganda) talk given by an Israeli representative, or in every booklet your campus' Jewish Agency representative might hand you. It has to do with "the full rights" of Palestinian citizens in Israel, including the status of Arabic as an official language, and the equality of all Israeli citizens under the law. This is the heart of "the only democracy in…Read More... | 63 Comments
Despite the hysteria of the past week, Israeli democracy is in perfect health. Well, for the Jewish citizens of the country anyway. Avigdor Lieberman's push to investigate leftist NGO's is a political trick which lacks significant power to change the situation on the ground. Lieberman's trick was designed to cast the Israeli left as reactionary and quick to cry wolf. It largely achieved its goals. The incredible mobilization to 'save Israeli democracy' reinforces the notion that democracy for Jews is in perfect health. The left was attacked, people took to the streets and the system worked. If Lieberman's desire to…Read More... | 8 Comments
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