A video purportedly shot at a Palestinian Authority event honoring
Palestinian martyrs last week shows MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) saying that "there is
no greater source of praise" than martyrdom.
While the word martyr in Arabic means to die in the name of God, in the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict it has come to be associated with suicide
bombers and terrorists who are killed while attacking Israel.
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In the video released by the Palestinian Media Watch NGO Wednesday, Tibi says that "in the history of nations and their conflicts, the martyr is the ultimate source of pride." The martyr, he added, is "the symbol of the homeland."
Tibi went on to congratulate Palestinian martyrs in the territories and
inside Israel, as well as overseas. Referring to Israelis as "those who
occupy and murder," Tibi asserted that for Palestinians, "there is
nothing more praiseworthy than those who die for the homeland."
When questioned about the video, Tibi cited "Israeli ignorance" about the concept of a martyr in Islam. According to the MK, a shaheed
(martyr) is one who was "killed by the occupation" or died for a national
cause. He added that being a martyr is praiseworthy, because it means
sacrificing for the Palestinian homeland.
Following the publication of Tibi's remarks in the Israeli media, MK
Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) wrote a letter to Attorney-General
Yehuda Weinstein, asking him to put the UAL-Ta'al MK on trial.
"Your office has not hesitated to prosecute right-wing activists for
less severe speeches," Ben-Ari said. "The time has come to stop Tibi's