Arab MKs outraged at being removed from 'political arena'

MK Tibi: In recent elections, number of Arab representatives grew, but still they prevent us from being represented on the committees.

tibi 248.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tibi 248.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Arab MKs expressed outrage on Wednesday morning when they realized their parties weren't represented on the temporary committees put together by a panel headed by Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar. Kadima received four representatives on the Finance Committee, the Likud five, Israel Beiteinu three and Labor two. Shas and United Torah Judaism will get two and one, respectively. The parties were in the same order on the temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) expressed fury over the Arab parties' exclusion, noting that in the previous Knesset, UAL-Ta'al MK Taleb a-Sanaa had been a member of the temporary committee on foreign affairs and defense. "In the recent elections, more people voted for the Arab lists and the number of representatives has grown, but despite that, they prevent us from being represented on the committees," he said. "This constitutes a removal of the Arab parties from the Israeli political arena." He added that "we are used to being treated like this by the government, but that Kadima and Labor should participate in the removal of the Arab lists from the committees is a disgrace." Hadash MK Dov Henin also demanded that the Arab factions be represented in the committees, saying they constituted a "technical bloc of 11 mandates." Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines said in response to Tibi's remarks, "You don't work for us; you are the one who called on the voters not to vote for Jewish parties."