(photo credit: Reuters/Mahfouz Abu Turk)
Likud parliamentarians slammed MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) on Tuesday after he
revealed plans to give a speech at the grave of Yasser Arafat during a memorial
ceremony on Wednesday marking seven years since the Palestinian leader’s
RELATED:Tibi visits Barghouti in prison, calls for his
Thousands of Israeli-Arabs mark October 2000 riots
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat’s nephew,
Nasser al- Qidwa, are also expected to speak at the ceremony.
Levine (Likud) sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak requesting that he
block Tibi from going to the grave. The site is in Area A of the West Bank,
which is under full Palestinian control and closed to Israelis who have not
received special permission to enter.
“MK Tibi is, once again, trying to
take advantage of his status and the extra privileges he receives as an MK in
order to play a central role in a ceremony honoring terror, which is meant to
harm the state of Israel and its citizens,” Levine said.
must stop, and we will put an end to it,” he added. “Tibi’s trip to Ramallah
will have a one-way ticket, with no way back.”
According to Likud MK
Danny Danon, Tibi was “continuing to act traitorously” against Israel and
constituted a “fifth column” in Israel’s parliament.
“Supporting the ways
of Arafat is incitement to terror, which must bring about Tibi’s expulsion from
the Knesset once and for all,” Danon said.
“He belongs in Ramallah’s
Tibi said in response that he didn’t understand “the
right-wing rage” about his planned speech.
“I value and respect Arafat as
the leader and national symbol that turned the Palestinian problem from a matter
of refugees to a nation demanding renewal and independence,” Tibi
For several years before becoming a member of Knesset in 1999,
Tibi was a political adviser to Arafat and represented the Palestinians at the
Wye River negotiations in 1998.
Tibi came under fire in September for
flying to New York on the Palestinian delegation’s plane, as the PA pursued its
statehood bid at the UN. He faces complaints lodged with the Knesset Ethics
Committee, as well as a bill proposed by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) forbidding MKs
“to advise a foreign entity or state.”