Daily Israel Report

MK: No Affirmative Action Without Arab National Service

MK Ben-Ari calls to end an Israeli-Arab affirmative action program over Arab leaders’ refusal to promote national service.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/29/2012, 3:17 PM

MK Michael Ben-Ari (file)
MK Michael Ben-Ari (file)
Flash 90

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Unioni) has called for an Arab Israeli affirmative action initiative to be put on hold over Arabs’ refusal to perform military or national service.

Ben-Ari sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin asking him to shut down the Committee on the Integration of Arab Employees in the Public Sector. The committee is headed by MK Ahmed Tibi.

“Those who ask for equal rights need to understand that they have equal obligations,” he argued. “Someone like Ahmed Tibi, who yells whenever he gets the chance about how much discrimination there is, and how Arabs are not part of the state – cannot be unready to also take part in the obligations.”

Tibi “vigorously opposes national service for the Arab public,” Ben-Ari noted.

“Tibi’s behavior, besides being two-faced and immoral, is also illegal,” he continued. “Tibi has become someone who encourages an entire sector of society to be parasitic.”

If the committee on Arab integration is to continue operating, Tibi should be replaced with “a citizen who recognizes the fact that the Arab community has obligations and not just rights,” Ben-Ari suggested.

Tibi has also faced opposition from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who has accused him of intentionally impeding Arab integration and has called on MKs not to cooperate with the committee he heads.