"Israel isn't the only democracy in the Middle East, nor is it a liberal democracy. It is a colonialist democracy," said former Knesset member Dr Azmi Bishara Saturday, in a conference in Amman.
Bishara is currently under investigation for several alleged offenses, including aiding enemy forces in war, contacting a foreign agent, funding terror activates and money laundering.
"Just like the white people in South Africa went about their business in a democratic way, so does Israel. The settlers behave in a democratic fashion and the original residents have been made into a minority who can participate in the democratic process," said Bishara.
"We have quite the deal here," continued Bishara. "Arab intellectuals practically envy us this democracy of ours, which brought us nothing but defeat.
"I was recently asked 'can you talk this way anywhere else? Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt – only Israel allows such freedom of speech.'," said Bishara. "'Give us Palestine', I told them, 'and take your democracy back.'
In addition to criticizing democracy, the former MK also criticized Arab overtures towards peace. "The Arab peace plan is aimed at the United States, as a response to the disintegrating image of its Arab allies," said Bishara in the conference, which was covered by the Jordanian newspaper al-Dustur.
"We have made a big mistake in our political, cultural life, in the way we took to Arab peace initiative. Israel rejected the plan," added Bishara "which should have put an end to it all together. Why is it than, that we keep holding on to it?"
"…A peace initiative it the stronger side's prerogative. A peace initiative presented by the lesser side can only be considered as weakness. Israel, in spite of the peace initiative, entered Ramallah," he explained. "The Arabs didn't wait, and immediately lowered their expectations by agreeing to the Road Map."
Indeed a peace iniative appears to be the last thing on Bishara's mind. Earlier, during an interview with Hizbullah's TV station, al-Manar, Bishara said Arab factions must form "a strategic unification of all resistance movements...which will allow us to meet our goal - freedom."
"The victory in 2000 was a victory not just for Lebanon, but for all Arab people," he said of Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in that year. Lessons must be learned from this victory, he added.