|Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi|
Photo by: Olivier Pitussi
Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi said...
in an op-ed in The New York Times
that Israel's loyalty oath bill
is "an attempt to relegate
Palestinian citizens of Israel to inferior status."
Tibi said that the loyalty oath,
which requires non-Jewish immigrants
to pledge allegiance to Israel
as a "Jewish and democratic state",
is akin to the United States
requiring Mexican immigrants
to swear allegiance to a U.S.
that is white and Protestant,
while pardoning immigrants
from Europe of the obligation.
In an earlier post, I reported that two of the six 'Israeli Arab' MK's who visited Libya last spring now regretted going. Haaretz interviews former Arafat adviser and current MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al), who was one of the initiators of the Libya trip. Tibi says that he has no regrets about visiting Libya.
I guess that it goes without saying that Tibi's interview is full of disingenuous claims regarding both the visit to Libya and Israel's treatment of 'Israeli Arabs,' but this is perhaps the most bizarre claim of all:
So it is correct to accept an invitation from anyone, without exercising judgment?No, no one could have predicted a year ago that the Gadhafi regime would be on the verge of being overthrown. But it was definitely predictable that Gadhafi would react violently to any demonstrations. And the Libyan regime was one which was already known a year ago to practice torture. Go here and here.
"First of all, he invited us and secondly, no one imagined he would do what he is doing a year later. Anyone who says he could have foreseen these events is not speaking the truth and is being deceptive."
Everyone today seems to be in favor of the people and against the regime in Libya, but isn't it true that even before the visit, Gadhafi was not a democrat or a believer in human rights?
"I admit the connection with the Arab world is one that involves non-democratic regimes. There's a difference between visiting and being loyal to or trailing after one regime or another. I am saying clearly and unambiguously that a visit does not constitute an expression of support for Gadhafi's policy in Libya - and such things were said there. For example, I personally expressed criticism of the backwardness in the world as a result of certain regimes, and the fact that rights are not granted to citizens. And we said that the role of the revolutions that erupted and overcame colonialism in the Arab world has been to give freedom and liberty and democracy to the Arab world."
The Libyan regime was known a year ago - and even longer ago - as one that practiced torture. It was more than 'just' an undemocratic regime. Tibi's claims not to have been aware of the nature of the Libyan regime are completely disingenuous. He and his colleagues gave support and comfort to a tyrant. The least they could do is own up to it.