Daily Israel Report

Arab MKs Represent 'Palestine' at Doha Conference

Israeli Arab MKs attend International Conference for Defense of Jerusalem in Qatar, listed as representatives of “Palestine.”
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/26/2012, 6:07 PM

MK Ahmed Tibi commemorates Arafat
MK Ahmed Tibi commemorates Arafat
Flash 90

At least two Israeli Arab MKs are in Qatar attending the International Conference for Defense of Jerusalem – but listed as representatives of “Palestine.”

MK Ahmed Tibi, and MK Taleb El-Sana, both of whom are members of Israel's Knesset, are attending the conference in Doha, which began Sunday. The gathering, organized by the Arab League and the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is focused on Jerusalem, its relationship to “international law” and “the Israeli occupation.”

The conference is aimed at reinforcing the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of an independent, sovereign Arab state within Israel's current borders, referred to by some as “Palestine.” The hoped-for country is the same autonomous entity which in 1993 was created by the Oslo Accords as the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PA is legally bound by international law to remain in its current status until its elected government reaches a negotiated, final status agreement with the State of Israel. There are areas over which it shares control with Israel, areas over which it exerts total control, and areas over which Israel has complete control.

However, nowhere does it state that an Israeli lawmaker has any right to represent the Palestinian Authority in any way, in any forum, locally or abroad – since Israeli lawmakers are elected by their own constituencies and not the PA populace.

Nevertheless, Tibi was quoted by the Qatari news agency on Sunday as saying, “Israel is an occupying power in east Jerusalem and withholds the Palestinian people's freedom of religion.”  He hadded that the “Judaization” of Jerusalem is a “blatant violation” of international law.

El-Sana concurred. “We will present Israel's systematic policy, through government associations, to undermine the existence of the al-Aqsa mosque,” he said. “Al-Aqsa is in danger and it is the responsibility of the Arab nations and Islam to save it before it's too late.” He warned that harming the mosque would lead to a war of “global Islamic jihad.”