by Andrew Friedman
MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) referenced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Thursday and pointed a thinly-veiled threat at Jewish Israelis, predicting that he would “treat you [Jewish Israelis] the way you have treated us [Arabs] after becoming prime minister.”
Speaking at a debate hosted by the Ono Academic College about the controversial Muezzin Bill, Tibi said “John Kerry called this government a ‘government of settlements that is bringing about the end of the dream of two states and leading towards one bi-national state.’ That could be the Jews’ greatest nightmare.”
Tibi also said the residents of Amona are “land thieves,” and that government ministers have told him that Prime Minister Netanyahu is feeling pressure about the aforementioned bill.
“Another minister told me that because of Bennett’s Legalization Bill, Netanyahu has to pass another [controversial right-wing bill]…. We tried to talk to the United Torah Judaism party, we tried to talk to Aryeh Deri, even to President Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin, who is ideologically more extreme than Netanyahu, but more humane.”
The session, attended by fellow MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Amir Ohana (Likud), as well as by former Education Minister Rabbi Shai Peron, was attended by students and moderated by Prof. Yuval Elbashan, dean of the Ono College law faculty.
Responding to Tibi, Glick said that religious practices cannot be forced on people but also repeated his opposition to the current bill. “ I oppose, on the most fundamental level, coercing religious practices on others. I do not believe that the Western Wall will become more holy if I don’t allow women to pray there or that Be’er Sheva will be more holy if there is no gay pride march, and I oppose the imposition of core subjects [on Israelis students].
“The prime minister asked me why it should be different in Germany or France, why it’s no problem for those countries to ban the muezzin. The answer is that there, there are no mutual concerns like there are here,” Glick said.