Arab MKs denounce terror attack – in their own way

Leadership of Arab sector comes out against the Tel Aviv attack but also calls Netanyahu a colonialist inciter.

Gil Ronen ,

Ahmed Tibi
Ahmed Tibi
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The leadership of the Arab sector in Israel has denounced the Tel Aviv terror attack that murdered two Jews and one Arab, but the most prominent Arab MK, Ahmed Tibi, also used the opportunity to call Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a "racist" and "colonialist."

The Supreme Monitoring Committee of Israel's Arabs, headed by ex-MK Muhammad Barakeh, said that it "completely rejects the criminal act at the Hasimta Pub in Tel Aviv, which deserves every form of denunciation." The act is "diametrically opposed to the democratic and legitimate way of struggle that the Arab populace, in all of its streams, has adopted, and is a harsh departure from the just method of struggle for achieving the Arab population's rights, and is a present for those who serially incite against it."

"We reject the criminal act and take part in the sorrow of the victims' families, and at the same time reject any attempt to attribute it to the general Arab population, which seeks justice and equality," the committee added.

The head of the Arab Joint List in the Knesset, MK Ayman Oudeh, said Friday that "the heart breaks at the sights we saw today. While all of the details are not yet clear, any harm caused to innocents needs to be denounced in the sharpest and clearest way."

MK Tibi, the best known member of the Joint List, reacted to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demand that the Muslim leaders denounce the attack by going on an immediate counterattack. He said that he had denounced the terror attack without being asked to, and accused Netanyahu of employing "colonialist" tactics of incitement by directing his statement at Muslims, supposedly in order to try and drive a wedge between Christian, Druze and Muslims. Tibi said that he has met with Netanyahu several times, in an effort to get the authorities to take action against the illegal weapons that are ubiquitous in the Arab sector.

Tibi claimed to Channel 1 that the terrorist was driven to his act by an incident in 2006 in which he saw police shooting his cousin dead "in cold blood" but that this does not justify what he did.

MK Issawi Frej (Meretz) wrote on Facebook Saturday that "the shocking murder yesterday in the streets of Tel Aviv must be condemned by all human beings. There is not – and there must not be – even a smidgen of understanding for indiscriminate murder of innocents."

Frej said that he was proud of the Arab sector's denunciations of the murders. "We did not hear stuttering, and certainly not justifications," he insisted. "Rather, we saw an entire society that is shocked."

The 'Ara-Ar'ara local authority, where the terrorist lived, expressed condolences to the victims and their families, and said that the attack was carried out by "one person who does not represent any of the village's residents," and that it was "foreign to our culture."

The Israeli government approved Sunday a  huge 15 billion shekel plan for the Arab sector which is to include investments in infrastructure, as well as better law enforcement. "I am not prepared to accept two States of Israel, a state of law for most of its citizens and a state within a state for some of them, in enclaves in which there is no law enforcement and in which there is Islamist incitement, rampant crime and illegal weapons that are frequently fired at events such as weddings," he stated. "This era has ended."

"We will build new police stations, recruit more police and go into all communities and demand from all of them loyalty to the laws of the state," the prime minister vowed. "One cannot say 'I am an Israeli in rights and a Palestinian in obligations.'"



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