Ahmad Tibi Responds to Benny Morris

A letter to the editors from Dr. Ahmad Tibi.

Dear Editors,

In response to the Benny Morris piece about me, please note that I met Yasser Arafat in 1984 for the first time and not in 1948 when I was not yet alive. Mr. Morris is either incorrect or has inadvertently transposed his numbers. [This was corrected on the website at midday yesterday.]

As I have declared many times, I was not a member of the Palestinian delegation to the UN but rather I was invited by President Abbas to be his guest on this historical trip to New York. I do, of course, struggle against occupation and criticize its brutality. I think it's also vital to note that Israel's democracy works very well for its Jewish citizens, but not nearly as well for Palestinians as there are numerous laws that discriminate against us. And under this right-wing government it is getting worse.

Finally, I take vigorous exception to the claim by Mr. Morris that I have supported attacks on Israeli citizens. This is an outrageous and false assertion that editors should have questioned him on closely. I have consistently condemned this kind of attack. In fact, he is the one on record calling for attacks on civilians when he argued that Israel should have more thoroughly cleansed the country of Palestinians. What I do support is vigorous nonviolent action to effect positive change in the region. Unfortunately, Israel is cracking down on nonviolent Palestinian and Israeli activists and too many of the journalists here are ignoring it. The settler violence against nonviolent activists at the settlement of Anatot two weeks ago was deeply disturbing as Israeli police appear to have been complicit and the government has looked the other way as Israel has descended into what, at the very least, can be described as proto-fascism.


Dr. Ahmad Tibi

Dr. Ahmad Tibi is a member of the Israeli Knesset.