IMEU, Sep 29, 2008
Party: United Arab List-Ta'al
Official Knesset Profile: Ahmad Tibi
A trained physician and graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ahmad Tibi first entered the Knesset as a member of Balad in 1999.
Before entering the Knesset, Tibi worked as an advisor to the Palestinian Authority on negotiations with Israel, and played and active role in formulating the 1998 Wye River Memorandum.
After entering the Knesset for Balad, Tibi formed his own party, Ta'al - a Hebrew acronym for 'Arab Movement for Renewal' - and has maintained his Knesset seat through successive elections by aligning Ta'al with other non-Zionist parties. For the 2006 Knesset elections, Ta'al ran on a joint ticket with the United Arab List, and together they won 4 seats.
Tibi has survived two separate attempts (in 2002 and 2003) by members of the right-wing Likud party to have him expelled from the Knesset.
A vocal opponent of Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank, Tibi supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but also advocates for equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel. He has argued that, "Israel is defined as a Jewish and democratic state. There is a real contradiction between the two values."
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