Tibi: 'Status quo will deepen apartheid in Israel'

July 15, 2011 14:14

MK Tibi on 20 Questions: if a two-states model continues to fail, the only alternative is one state for all citizens; Israel’s right-wing gov’t is to blame for impasse; Palestinian UN bid is now default position.

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This week’s 20 Questions hosts Ahmed Tibi, a member of Knesset representing the United Arab List (Ta’al) party. Tibi also serves as the Knesset’s deputy speaker.

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Tibi asserts that other than voting rights, there is not a single area in which total equality between Jews and Arabs is exercised. Tibi holds that in matters pertaining to land allocation, infrastructure, and public service, the scales are weighed massively in favor of Israel’s Jewish citizens.

Tibi views the recent rejection of his proposed “Nakba bill” as being a “black day for democracy.” The bill is aimed at boycotting NGOs that deny Nakba (translated as catastrophe and referring to1948).

 “In 1948 the whole [Palestinian] nation was disrupted, deported, run away, and 500 villages were destroyed. I would like to have this disaster recognized [by Israel] and to get sympathy.”

Tibi avers that the right of return for Palestinians is not an unreasonable demand. “Israel is responsible for the refugee issue and therefore should be part of the solution.”

Tibi believes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s demand for an apology over the death of nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara last year is also not an unreasonable one.

“If there is an occupation people should be able to express themselves and hold non-violent protests against that occupation. Israel should not suppress such peaceful protesters as the country did with flotilla protesters.”

After 17 years of failed negotiations, Tibi believes that the unilateral UN petition for a Palestinian state is now “the default situation.” He further added that “keeping the status quo will deepen apartheid in Israel as it did in South Africa.”

To see the full interview, click here.

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