Arab MK Tibi Slams Jewish State Law on CNN

Tibi says Israel is 'democratic to Jews, Jewish to Arabs,' claims country can't be both Jewish and democratic.

Ari Yashar ,

Ahmed Tibi
Ahmed Tibi
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Amid the government controversy over the Jewish State Law that would enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people, radical Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) went to CNN to slam the "inflammatory declarations and bills."

A watered-down version of the law passed a Cabinet vote last Sunday ahead of the collapse of the coalition this Tuesday. In Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's version of the bill, Arabic would remain an official language and not a "special status" language, and the democratic and Jewish character of the state would retain equilibrium, as opposed to the emphasis on the Jewish status in the original bill.

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour last Tuesday in comments published this week, Tibi said "there are two or three pyromaniacs in the Israeli cabinet. The nationality bill is totally proof of what I said during the last decades: that in Israel, Israel is democratic towards Jews and Jewish towards Arabs."

"Jewish and democratic, the definition of the State of Israel for the last thirty years, is an oxymoron," Tibi said, when in fact that dual nature was written into the Declaration of Independence in 1948, 66 years ago.

Tibi added "you cannot be democratic, believing in equality between all citizens, and define yourself as an ethnic definition, 'Jewish.'"

Ironically, Tibi's assessment is in line with those of some of his arch nemeses on the Right, including controversial former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane and his followers, who posed the question of whether Arab citizens have the right to become the majority in Israel and vote the Jewish state out of existence.

In a blatant perversion of historical fact, Tibi continued "we are the indigenous people. We (did) not come to Israel as immigrants by plane or ship. We were born there, Christiane. And we would like to be equal and will never, never, never accept any superiority (of) any Israeli Jew just because he is Jew and I am Arab Palestinian."

Tibi has actively worked to undermine Israel, traveling to Belgium last month to urge the parliament to pass sanctions against Israel, after traveling to London to push for a non-binding vote recognizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine" the month before.

He has been working the international media circuit in the past few weeks as part of efforts to drum up international pressure against Israel over the Jewish State Bill. In one Al Jazeera interview at the end of last month Tibi went head-to-head with Jewish Home party official Jeremy Saltan.

Watch - Tibi clashes with Jewish Home official on Al Jazeera:

His historical revisionism was on display last month when he claimed Muslims were the "true owners" of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the location of the First and Second Temples in ancient Israel, centuries before Islam was created.

Many have argued the Jewish State Law would help to refocus legislation and allow for a greater enforcement against Arab terrorism and illegal infiltration that threaten the future of the state.