Tibi: Disqualification of bill is 'black day for democracy'

MK slams Knesset presidency's decision to disqualify bill proposing to revoke funding for NGOs that deny Nakba, says "this is blow to freedom."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 4, 2011 15:15
2 minute read.
MK Ahmed Tibi

Tibi making a point in Knesset 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

United Arab List MK Ahmed Tibi on Monday said the Knesset presidency's decision to disqualify a bill he proposed on Nakba denial marks a "black day for democracy."

The bill, submitted by Tibi to the Knesset presidency to determine whether it can be discussed in the Knesset plenum, proposes to revoke state funding for public NGOs and organizations that do not recognize the Nakba.

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"I stood in front of [the Knesset presidency] with a challenge, and you failed," the UAL MK said referring to MKs who voted to disqualify the bill. "You are not ready to deal with the challenge I placed in front of you."

He added, "This is a blow to freedom of expression and democratic values. The bill's purpose is to raise awareness of the suffering of the Palestinian people in 1948, and whoever denies that suffering is taking an inhuman stance."

The MK added that he would bring the challenge to the High Court.

Tibi's comments come after the Knesset presidency, comprised of Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and MKs Tibi, Uri Maklev (United Torach Judaism), Ophir Akunis (Likud), Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), Danny Danon (Likud), Orly Levy (Israel Beiteinu), Majallie Whbee (Kadima), and Ruchama Avraham-Balila (Kafima), rejected on Tibi's bill for discussion in the Knesset.



The presidency is authorized to refuse the discussion of a bill in the Knesset if it is deemed racist or denies the existence of the Sate of Israel.

Earlier, Rivlin expressed doubt over whether it was legal to disqualify Tibi's bill, but said the bill is an act of provocation against the state.

Likud Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin said in response to Tibi's bill that marking Nakba Day on May 15 is designed to try to prove that the Jewish state was born out of injustice, and that this should be corrected by changing the basic nature of the state.

Israel Beiteinu MK Alex Miller also commented on the bill, saying, "This proposal is just another attempt to undermine the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state."

He added, "I am requesting that the bill be rejected immediately and that foolish attempts by MK Tibi to harm Israel's sovereignty be prevented."


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