MK Tibi: Government must help Israeli Arabs attacked by Ukranian neo-Nazis

Tibi accuses Israeli media of ignoring the issue because the students being attacked are not Jewish.

November 12, 2013 18:29
1 minute read.
Ibrahim Sarsur and Ahmed Tibi at the President's resident, January 31, 2013.

Ibrahim Sarsur and Ahmed Tibi at President's resident 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The government and media are ignoring attacks on Israeli- Arab students in Odessa, MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) told the Knesset Tuesday.

Tibi wrote a letter to Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and gave a speech in the plenum after students studying in the Ukraine were attacked by a neo-Nazi gang.

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“I recently received complaints from Arab students in the Ukraine who are harassed and persecuted by a fascist group that threatens and physically hits foreigners in the country while yelling abusive and racist slogans like ‘Ukraine for Ukrainians,’” Tibi wrote.

According to Tibi, local authorities in the Ukraine did not help the 300 Israeli students in the country, Arab or Jewish, by protecting them or deterring the attackers.

“In the last week someone was murdered and 15 more from around the world were murdered,” Tibi added. “Arab students have been hiding in their homes for the past two weeks when they’re not in school.”

The UAL-Ta’al MK called for the Foreign Ministry to help the students and repeated his message in the plenum later Tuesday. He also accused the Israeli media of ignoring the issue because the students being attacked were not Jewish.

“These students are Israeli citizens,” he pointed out. “It’s like we don’t exist and our pain isn’t real pain.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein responded that he had contacted the Ukrainian government and was promised that the heads of the national and Odessa district police were investigating the matter.

MK Basel Ghattas (Balad) called on fellow legislators to contact the Ukrainian parliament and call on it to condemn the phenomenon.

“Fascism doesn’t differentiate between people,” he said.

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