Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tibi: This is most racist Knesset ever

MK Levin proud of success at preventing Arab MK's equal opportunities bill from being discussed, but following Ynet report decides to allow debate

The chairman of the Knesset's House Committee, MK Yariv Levin (Likud), has been preventing an equal opportunity bill proposed by MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) from being voted on for almost six months, Tibi said Thursday, adding the current Knesset is "the most racist that ever existed".

After the report was published on Ynet, the committee announced that it would bring the bill up for debate in a few days. Levin said at first that it would be discussed on Monday, but then postponed the debate after discovering that a hearing on the State Budget had already been scheduled for that day.
The bill stipulates that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was established by the Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry in order to prevent discrimination against Arabs seeking to serve in public office, among other things, must employ an Arab member.
Tibi's bill passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset five and a half months ago, but Levin has not yet deigned to place it on the Knesset agenda to be voted on.
"I don't understand how you can harm the Arab population in this manner. I can't understand what could be so dangerous about voting on placing an Arab representative on a board discussing equal opportunities, unless there are people in the Knesset, among them Levin, who see equal opportunities for Arabs as a threat to democracy," Tibi said.
He added that the bill had received a majority of votes during the preliminary reading, and that Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had supported it.
"Turns out this is the most racist Knesset that has ever existed," Tibi said. "It's so racist that MKs like Levin are not ashamed at blocking a bill aimed at achieving some sort of equality. These right-wing MKs have lost all shame."
But Levin said he would not "lend a hand" to such an "outrageous" bill. "His aim is to place a representative of Adallah to orchestrate dominance over all government posts. I will not agree to this," Levin said. 

"I told Tibi that the fact that he is demanding to place in this position an Arab representative and not a member of a minority loyal to the state, such as the Druze, for example, is intolerable. Because I cannot prevent his bill from being discussed forever, I will bring it up in a week or two. I will do it at the latest date I can." 
Levin, far from being "shamed", was proud of his accomplishment. "I can say with great satisfaction that I do not know of any other law that was postponed to such extent by us," he said.  


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