MK Tibi urges European sanctions on Israel

In Brussels, Arab legislator calls on EU to restrain ‘pyromaniac’ politicians, blames PM for violence in capital

Ahmad Tibi addresses the Knesset on May 21, 2012.  (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Ahmad Tibi addresses the Knesset on May 21, 2012. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Arab-Israeli MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) urged Europe to impose sanctions on Israel, in an address the European Union parliament in Brussels Thursday.

Invited to the parliament to discuss current Temple Mount tensions, Tibi claimed Israel is controlled by an extremist government backed by an even-more extremist parliament.

“There are pyromaniacs in the government and in the Knesset,” Tibi said, asking EU parliament members for help in restraining them. Tibi specifically cited MKs Uri Ariel (the housing minister from the Jewish Home party) and Miri Regev (Likud) as arsonists determined to inflame Jerusalem.

Tibi blamed Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the volatile situation in the capital, which in recent weeks has seen near-daily violent clashes between Palestinians and security forces.

“Netanyahu continues to build settlements, including in Jerusalem,” Tibi told the European Union representatives, asking them to stop the prime minister through sanctions and pressure.

“The continued construction and expropriation of land impedes any possibility of a two-state solution,” Tibi added.

Discussing the status of Arab-Israelis, Tibi told the parliament in Brussels that Arabs in Israel suffer permanent discrimination and exclusion. The MK claimed democracy in Israel is enjoyed only by Jews, while the Arab minority is deliberately neglected.

Tibi, an often controversial figure in Israeli politics, has served as a member of the Knesset since 1999.

Last month, Tibi visited London in an effort to push a British Parliament motion urging the David Cameron government to recognize an independent Palestinian state. House of Commons legislators voted overwhelmingly in support of the motion.

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