Israel Joint Arab List MK Ahmed Tibi was hosted for meetings over the past several days in Washington DC by officials at the White House and State Department.
Tibi met with U.S. President Barak Obama’s chief adviser to the Middle East, Robert Malley, and other senior officials at the White House.
The Israeli Arab lawmaker met with U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Frank Lowenstein, and Christopher Henzel, director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, at the State Department as well.
“Simultaneously with our struggle within Israel, the Knesset and outside it, it is necessary to spread the word regarding the Arab public’s situation and distress to the international community, including the United States,” Tibi told journalists at a news conference.
He spoke about the “institutionalized discrimination against Arab citizens in all walks of life, including the demolition of homes, the lack of employment and racist legislation.
“Once again I found a lack of knowledge on our social and political situation, and this requires all of us to increase our efforts in the important international forum,” Tibi said.
“There is not a single member of the current Israeli government, including [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who publicly supports the vision of the two states and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; whereas all the Palestinian ministers support that vision,” he added.
It is especially important for readers to understand exactly who MK Tibi is, and which “struggle” he refers to when he appears in the White House and the State Department to lobby for “his people.”
Tibi — who is currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and paid generously with Israeli taxpayer money – was seen at a September 2011 Palestinian Authority event carried on PA TV openly praising Arab terrorists with the symbol of the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat (the black-and-white keffiyeh) around his neck. The footage is provided and his remarks are translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) monitoring organization.
“Nothing is more exalted than those whom Israel dubs ‘terrorists-shahids,’” he said. In local Arab culture, the word – which literally translates as “martyrs” – is used to refer to those who die while trying to murder Israelis. “In the history and struggles of nations, the shahid is the ultimate glory,” Tibi told his audience at that time. “There is no value more August than the Shahada (the act of dying for Allah.) The shahid is the trailblazer, drawing with his blood the path to freedom and liberation. The shahid is the symbol of the homeland.”
While Tibi has been visiting with U.S. officials his party colleagues in Israel were visiting with the families of Arabs who were killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.
This past weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit weigh the possibility of taking legal steps against Israeli Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List in connection with their visit last Tuesday to the families of several Arab terrorists.Hana Levi Julian