Knesset punishes Arab MK for humiliating minister

November 3, 2015  

One week after Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) had Minister Ze’ev Elkin removed from the podium and ejected from the plenum, the Knesset’s Ethics Committee has decided to suspend him from chairing plenum debates for two weeks.

The committee also reprimanded Elkin for the way he addressed Tibi from the podium, when the latter was presiding as chair over the session.

“People like you spread lies, knowing full well that they are doing so, regarding what Israel does on the Temple Mount, and claiming that Israel is abrogating the status quo. You are responsible for the blood that will be spilled, of both Jews and Arabs,” he turned and told Tibi. “You personally, Mr. Chairman.”

Tibi took advantage of his position running the Knesset session and asked Elkin to apologize, asserting: “I am the sovereign.”

The minister refused and Tibi ordered him out of the Knesset chamber.

The defiant Elkin responded, “you will never be sovereign,” whereupon Tibi ordered Knesset guards to remove Elkin from the platform.

“You have no right to remove me from the podium, according to Knesset protocol,” Elkin stated. “It appears that what I said hurts you. At last someone is telling you the truth to your face.”

Tibi had no official response to the decision but sources in the Joint List said that the Ethics Committee’s decision is “strange and influenced by the general atmosphere.”

“If an Arab MK had addressed Speaker Yuli Edelstein, he would have been severely punished,” the source said.

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