Photo Credit: courtesy, Ahmad Tibi
Israeli Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi

Arab Joint List Knesset member Ahmad Tibi has decided to take his Ta’al Party out of the Joint Arab List and run independently in the upcoming April elections. It’s not yet clear, however, whether Ta’al will manage to acquire enough votes to clear the threshold, or whether at the end Tibi will join fellow MKs Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi who have already announced they are leaving the Knesset after the elections this April.

The long-time Israeli Arab lawmaker is a trained gynecologist with a graduate degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Tibi once served as a political adviser to the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasser Arafat. He describes himself as “Arab-Palestinian” in nationality, and “Israeli in citizenship.”

The Joint List lawmaker is seen as a “moderate” but opposes the definition of Israel as a Jewish State, calling it “racist.” He wants to see the removal of anything that supports its Jewish definition, including the Law of Return, the Israeli flag and the national anthem, Hatikvah.

Instead, he supports the “Palestinian right of return” and wants to see Israel hand over any territory acquired since 1967, including the restoration of its unified eternal capital, Jerusalem, and its holy places – the Western Wall and the site of the Holy Temple, the Temple Mount.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.