Daily Israel Report

Knesset Presidium Blocks 2 Bills by Tibi

Speaker Rivlin: "There are red lines that I, as a democrat, say you can not cross."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/16/2012, 3:46 PM

MK Ahmed Tibi in Ramallah
MK Ahmed Tibi in Ramallah
Flash 90

The Knesset Presidium voted, Monday afternoon, to block two revisionist bills by Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Taal) from being introduced. One of them would have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of a proposed Palestinian Authority state and the Islamic people. The other would have banned negative references in school textbooks to Arabs and Arab groups who fought the Jews prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said after the votes, "There are red lines that I, as a democrat, say you can not cross. I see it as defiance against Israel and Jerusalem as its capital as well as another protest against the historical narrative, a matter already pending before the High Court."

Tibi's second bill would have forbidden school books from using the Hebrew term knufiyot – "gangs" – to describe the Arabs who fought Jews before Israel won independence. Instead, the term "fighters" should be used, the bill says.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that approval of "a law that accords honor to the murderers in the Arab gangs that tried to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel, by defining them as 'fighters', would demean the founders of the State of Israel and the Knesset."

Nationalists see Tibi as a professional provocateur, who specializes in humiliating the Knesset he is a part of. His past stunts include speeches at pro-terrorist venues, a bill that would punish "Nakba deniers," flying to Washington with the Palestinian Authority delegation that demanded statehood at the UN, flying to meet Muammar Qaddafi and many more.