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Knesset member warns that recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" threatens Right of Return

February 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

An Arab member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) has warned that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” would mean dropping the refugees’ Right of Return from negotiations before thay have even started in earnest. Ahmed Al-Tibi MK used a lecture in the Jordanian capital Amman to give his warning and said, “Accepting Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ would solidify the [supposed] superiority of the Israeli settler and inferiority of the Arab citizen.” Refusing the notion of an exclusive Jewish state, he added, protects the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba and rejects the Zionist version of events which gives them the sole right to the Holy Land.

Mr Al-Tibi drew attention to the demand of the Palestinian citizens inside the Zionist state to recognise itself as a “state for all of its majority and minority citizens and not for those entitled [as Jews] to citizenship from all over the world”. Following the adoption of the “Basic Law” of 1984, Israel has been “defined as a Jewish and democratic state; this does not fit the reality of the Palestinian minority inside its territory, which is based on individual and not collective rights.”

The MK confirmed that the Israeli authorities exercise a policy of “exclusion, marginalization and racial discrimination” against Arab citizens in Israel’s Palestinian territories. “There is discrimination in all areas, such as public budgets, land, education, housing and Islamic Waqf,” he said.