Tibi bills disqualified for undermining Jewish state

"Al-Quds, Palestine capital," bill aims to anchor J'lem as "heart of Palestine"; 2nd bill against textbooks negatively describing Arabs who "fought for homeland."

January 16, 2012 18:08
1 minute read.
Ahmed Tibi

Ahmed Tibi_311. (photo credit: Reuters/Mahfouz Abu Turk)


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Two bills submitted by MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) were disqualified by the Knesset Presidency on Monday for undermining Israel’s existence as the state of the Jewish people.

The first bill, titled “Al-Quds, the capital of Palestine,” is meant to to anchor Jerusalem through legislation as the “beating heart of Palestine” – religiously, culturally, historically and diplomatically – according to its explanatory section.

Tibi gets death threats on Facebook page

Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon wrote to the presidency on Sunday that the bill declaring Jerusalem as the Palestinians’ capital clearly undermines Israel’s existence as the state of the Jewish people, and may be disqualified.

The Knesset Presidency may disqualify bills that are racist or reject Israel as a Jewish and/or democratic state. However, they rarely do so, unless they are instructed otherwise by the Knesset legal adviser.

A second bill submitted by Tibi would require the Education Ministry to disqualify any textbooks that use negative terms to describe individuals or groups of Arabs who “fought for their right to defend their homeland.”

According to Tibi, this legislation would eliminate negative descriptions of “Palestinian fighters,” such as “gangs,” and bring back those fighters’ “national pride.”

Yinon wrote that the presidency does not have a reason to disqualify the legislation, as it does not reject Israel as a Jewish state.

However, in Monday’s presidency meeting, the bill was rejected with five in favor, four opposed and one abstaining.

Rivlin said that although Yinon did not find a legal issue with the bill, he would not want the presidency to allow a bill that “crosses red lines” to be put to a vote in the Knesset.

He added that he sees the bills as “incitement against the State of Israel and its capital Jerusalem as well as incitement against the historical narrative.”

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