Arab member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi has said that the Arab leaders of the Palestinian community in Israel will not cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Israeli government to probe the violent clashes that took place early this month in Arab towns, leading to the death of 13 Arabs by Israeli fire.
In a telephone interview with Albawaba.com on Monday, Tibi called for an official public committee that has legal powers to send to trial those responsible for the killings.
“We reject the commission because we were not consulted in the first place, and because it does meet our demands, especially that we have accusations of shooting with the intention of killing,” he said.
Nevertheless, Tibi says he does not give much credit for the Israeli judiciary in terms of honesty and impartiality.
He said that studies have shown that Arabs in Israel receive severer sentences than Israelis for the same crimes.
The MK, who said the Intifada inside Israel was, in addition to being in solidarity with the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, was also a form of protest against discrimination practiced by Israel against its Arab citizens. The uprising might erupt again, he said.
“We have given none any promises that our protests will stop,” he said
Tibi did not rule out the possibility of forming a national unity government in Israel, “led by two generals.” He said although Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Ariel Sharon concluded their meeting Monday with no agreement, “the train of national unity government has set out on its journey.”
The Arab MK said that the Israeli leadership has gone far right, and he, among the ten Arab members of the Israeli parliament, has been subject to threats and provocation. The same attitude is reflected in the behaviors of the people in the street, he said.
He expects “a vicious campaign against Arab MKs,” when the Knesset reconvenes on October 26.
“As the Arab bloc, we will propose a vote of no confidence although we are sure we will not be supported by other blocs,” he said, “ it is just a gesture to tell the government the Arabs are not satisfied with its performance.”
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)