Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta'al) said Thursday ahead of the Yom Kippur holiday that, “There are Jews who should ask non-Jews, including Arabs, for forgiveness each day for the continued despair of one-fifth of the population and for the fact that the Arab education system is missing 200 classrooms and that only five percent of the employees of government offices are Arab.”
Tibi added: “Israeli society is witnessing the growth of fascist weeds such as MKs Effie Eitam and
Avigdor Lieberman and others but remains tolerant toward them. The same Jewish society should ask forgiveness for the fact that its institutions, including the police, are treating the Arabs in Israel as though they were enemies and not citizens.
“This is a society that lives in peace with the humiliation of every Arab who arrives at Ben-Gurion Airport or at any checkpoint,” he said.
Tibi continued: “Anyone who is tolerant toward calls to kill Arabs during wartime and forceful transfer should look deep inside himself. I do not expect an apology from Eitam or Lieberman, but I do expect self-examination on the part of the Jewish society in Israel that preaches to the entire world but imprisons people in the West Bank – in its own backyard.
“We are not against the state, but against the government, and there is a distinct difference between the two,” Tibi said.
MK Nadia Hilou (Labor) took the criticism a step further, claiming that many need to examine their own deeds, including Arab Knesset members.
“Everyone has a part in the radicalization that has happened. The Arab MKs need to know that their comments only give Lieberman more mandates. And their deeds too. What, for example, did their trip
to Syria contribute to the lives of Israel’s Arab population? What did we gain from it? They need to search themselves and understand that such moves only take us backwards. If you want to be the mediators between Israel and the Arab world, you must do it with permission and authority. Why can’t an Arab delegation go on a governmental delegation and make contact with the Arab nations? We must use our experience.”
Further, the State needs some introspection. “There are walls that are only growing between the camps, and everyone is responsible. The State needs to atone for the neglect and the gaps which are only growing. After all, we are citizens of this State and not citizens of Jordan or Egypt. Our home is here and not there, but we aren’t accepted here. Why are there such enormous gaps between Arab and Jewish education?” she demanded.