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MK Tibi: I'll Fight 'Strange Idea' of Jewish State

Nationalists react harshly to provocateur Arab parliamentarian's statement, call him 'a Trojan horse.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/9/2014, 6:40 PM

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi
Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi
Flash 90

MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Taal), who regularly provokes nationalist Jewish MKs and patriotic citizens with seditious and tasteless statements, did it again Thursday, when he told a Jordanian newspaper that he would fight the idea that the Palestinian Authority (PA) needs to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace deal.

Tibi told Aldustur that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that he intends to fight against “this strange demand” in the Knesset. He claimed that the idea had not come up in the negotiations between Israel and the PA.

Interior Committee Chairwoman MK Miri Regev (Likud-Beytenu) said that “it does not surprise me that MK Tibi and other MKs are not willing to accept us here as a Jewish state. That is why I see them as Trojan horses.

"I suggested in the past, and I suggest yet again, that a person elected to the Knesset should swear allegiance not just to the state of Israel and its laws, but also to the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people,” she explained. “Not recognizing us as a Jewish state is the heart of the problem. MKs who do not recognize us as a Jewish state should not serve in ourr Knesset, in our state, and the faster we deal with this, the better.”

MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) spoke in a similar vein, saying that if Tibi “is interested in acting against the existence of the state of Israel as a Jewish state, he will have to do it outside the Knesset's walls.”

MK Shaked cited the Basic Law on the Knesset, which says that “a list of candidates will not take part in elections to the Knesset and a person will not be a candidate for elections to the Knesset, if the goals or deeds of the list or the deeds of the person include... the negation of the state of Israel as a democratic Jewish state.”

MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home), said: “If MK Ahmed Tibi does feels it is beneath him to live and serve as a Knesset Member in a Jewish state, I suggest that he move to Jordan and serve in the Jordanian parliament.”

MK Moti Yogev, of the same party, said that by opposing Minister Avigdor Liberman's plan for swapping territory and population with the PA, MK Tibi “is actually showing that as an Arab, he is happy to be a citizen and to reside in the state of Israel.”

“Ahmed Tibi's opinions and his frequent visits to the heads of the Authority in Ramallah and his full identification with their positions indicate that he should resign from the Israeli Knesset, renounce his citizenship, move to Ramallah and perhaps be elected to the parliament there,” Yogev added. “In the photos that show him sitting with the senior officials of the PA he appears happier and seems to belong more than he does in the Israeli Knesset.”

The PA has indeed rejected Israel's demand that it recognize it as a Jewish state. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that this demand is at the core of Israel's conditions for peace with the PA.