MK Ahmed Tibi:
'We want to remove the Right from power'

Chairman of Israeli-Arab Ta'al party lists his conditions for supporting a government headed by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Ahmed Tibi
Ahmed Tibi
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

A senior Israeli-Arab lawmaker suggested his party could back former IDF Chief and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz for prime minister, in the hopes of removing the Israeli Right from power.

Speaking at the Muni-Expo 2019 conference on local government, MK Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of the Ta’al faction and a former adviser to Yasser Arafat, laid down conditions for recommending Gantz receive a mandate to form the next government.

“We want to topple the Right, we say it openly,” Tibi said, adding that he would only offer support to Gantz if the Blue and White party vowed to pursue “equal rights” for Israeli-Arabs, something Tibi suggested was not currently present in Israel.

“But I still haven’t heard the words ‘equal rights for Arab citizens’ from Benny Gantz. I haven’t heard it.”

Tibi noted that Gantz’s partner in the Blue and White party, Yair Lapid, had declared that he would not bring the Arab parties into a future coalition government.

“I’ve also heard Yair Lapid say ‘we won’t sit with the Arabs’. Imagine in Belgium or France, Belgian or French politicians saying ‘We won’t sit with the Jews’. What would happen to him? I can understand him saying ‘We won’t sit with the Hadash [party] or Ta’al or the United Arab List and Balad, but to say ‘the Arabs’, that’s just awful. I call on Jewish politicians to think twice before they speak.”

MK Tibi (center)
Yoni Kempinski

When asked why he, a former aide to the PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat, should be permitted to serve in the Knesset, yet at the same time argue that Baruch Marzel, the parliamentary aide to Rabbi Meir Kahane, Tibi called the comparison “outrageous” and accused Marzel and other members of the Otzma Yehudit party of believing in “Jewish racial supremacy”.

“What an outrageous comparison. I don’t believe in racialism, and I think that a Jew who defends a racist who talks about Jewish racial supremacy should be ashamed of himself. You say all the time that the Arab MKs are doing everything they can to destroy Israel, but the person who guarantees to have Itamar Ben-Gvir appointed to the judicial nomination committee is doing that work [of destroying the state] not in our place but in his own.”