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Arab Israelis believe Muammar Qaddafi was the ‘King of Arabs’

Qaddafi, Gaddafi, Muammar, Knesset member, Palestinian leader, Zionist counterpart

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Arab Israelis believe Muammar Qaddafi was the ‘King of Arabs’

“Yet what they fail to obtain despite their crawling, others get.”46 The following year, Ahmad Tibi travelled to Libya with a delegation of Israeli Arab parliamentarians to meet the long-reigning dictator Muammar Qaddafi, whom he lauded as “King of the Arabs” and who was praised by one of Tibi’s peers as “a man of peace who treats his people in the best possible way.”47 Con- fronted with scathing Knesset criticism upon their return, MK Taleb Sana was unrepentant. “Israel’s enemy is Israel itself,” he said. “As Qaddafi said during the visit, they have no problem with Jews but only with Zionism. Perhaps you’ll learn and understand some time—that is, abolish the Jewish state of Israel. Writes Efraim Karsh

Bishara’s Arab peers didn’t lag far behind. Ignoring legislation forbidding unauthorized visits by Israelis to enemy states, they embarked on a string of trips to neighboring Arab states where they conferred with various heads of the anti-Israel “resistance” and at times even participated in violent anti-Israel activities. Knesset Member (MK) Ahmad Tibi, whose years in Arafat’s service would have made him persona non grata in Hafez Assad’s Syria given the latter’s loathing of the Palestinian leader, was beside himself with joy on meeting the deceased tyrant’s son, who would soon go on to massacre hundreds of thousands of his own citizens. “Heads of state are begging to shake [Bashar] Assad’s hand, crawling to shake his hand,” he gloated at an Israeli Arab election gathering (in January 2009). “Yet what they fail to obtain despite their crawling, others get.”46 The following year, Tibi travelled to Libya with a delegation of Israeli Arab parliamentarians to meet the long-reigning dictator Muammar Qaddafi, whom he lauded as “King of the Arabs” and who was praised by one of Tibi’s peers as “a man of peace who treats his people in the best possible way.”47 Con- fronted with scathing Knesset criticism upon their return, MK Taleb Sana was unrepentant. “Israel’s enemy is Israel itself,” he said. “As Qaddafi said during the visit, they have no problem with Jews but only with Zionism. Perhaps you’ll learn and understand some time—that is, abolish the Jewish state of Israel.

By this time, open calls for Israel’s destruction had substituted for the 1990s’ euphemistic advocacy of this goal. Bishara, whose Balad party was predicated on making Israel “a state of all its citizens”— the standard euphemism for its transformation into an Arab state in which Jews would be reduced to a permanent minority—became increasingly outspoken after his flight from the country, predicting the Jewish state’s fate to be identical to that of the crusading states. His successor, MK Jamal Zahalka, preferred a more contemporary metaphor, claiming that just as South Africa’s apartheid had been emasculated, so its purported Zionist counterpart had to be destroyed.49 And Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who never tired of crying wolf over the Jews’ supposed machinations to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque, “while our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and water,” prophesied Israel’s demise within two decades should it not change its attitude to the Arab minority.

Such views were by no means limited to the extreme fringes. In 2006, the “national committee of the heads of local Arab municipalities in Israel” issued a lengthy document outlining its “Future Vision for the Palestinian Arabs in Israel.” The document derided Israel as “a product of colonialist action initiated by the Jewish-Zionist elites in Europe and the West,” which, it charged, had pursued “domestic colonialist policy against its Palestinian Arab citizens.” The document then rejected Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state and demanded its replacement by a system that would ensure Arab “national, historic and civil rights at both the individual and collective levels.”

No less significantly, in May 2001 the “supreme follow-up commit- tee of the Arabs in Israel” escalated “Nakba Day” events—observed alongside Israel’s Independence Day to bemoan the “catastrophe” allegedly wrought on the Palestinians by the establishment of the Jewish state—by instituting a national minute of silence. Seven years later, as Israel celebrated its sixtieth year of existence, the committee initiated what was to become an annual event by dedicating these events to the “right of return,” the standard Arab euphemism for Israel’s destruction through demographic subversion.52 Even in Haifa, an epitome of Arab-Jewish coexistence since the early 1920s, local politicians attempted to replace the name of Zionism Avenue with its pre-Israel precursor.

These incendiary activities had their predictable effect. By the time of the 2009 national elections, some 40% of Israeli Arabs were denying the existence of the Holocaust while one in two were opposed to sending their children to Jewish schools or having Jewish neighbors.54 Small wonder that the 1990s and 2000s saw the demise of Arab votes for Jewish/Zionist parties and their diversion to militant purely Arab parties that were openly opposed to Israel’s very existence, and this process gained considerable momentum in the 2010s. In the 1992 elections, the Arab parties won five of the Knesset’s 120 seats; by 1999, this number had doubled. In the 2015 elections, the Arab parties won 13 seats by running in a unified bloc (the Joint List) in order to reach the Knesset entry threshold. In March 2020 they scored their greatest-ever success by winning 15 seats.

End of Part Eight

Blitz is neither an Israeli State nor Jewish owned or sponsored publication. It is an independent journal which has been publishing the truth under extreme adversities since 2003. Editor of this newspaper, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury served seven-years rigorous imprisonment for the ‘crimes’ of denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial; for confronting radical Islam and militancy; for promoting interfaith harmony; and for defending the State of Israel

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