MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) demanded on Wednesday that Ambassador to the US
Michael Oren retract comments about him in an article published in Foreign
Policy magazine last week.
In a letter to Foreign Ministry
Director-General Raffi Barak and copied to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
Tibi said Oren attacked him in writing, and he threatened to take the ambassador
to court if he does not take back what he wrote.
“Israel’s Resilient Democracy,” says that “Tibi, who once advised PLO Chairman
Yasser Arafat and recently praised Palestinian ‘martyrs’ – a well-known
euphemism for suicide bombers – serves as a member and deputy speaker of the
Knesset.” The ambassador also mentioned MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), adding that Arab
parties “routinely call for dismantling the Jewish state,” but Kach is the only
party ever banned from elections.
“Mr. Michael Oren targeted me, twisted
my words and said that I support terror attacks against Israelis,” Tibi
wrote. “The article completely contradicts my proclaimed
Tibi explained that Oren was referencing a video of his
“Martyrs’ speech,” which the UAL-Ta’al MK has repeatedly said was edited to
change the speech’s message. Tibi said that in his speech, he used the word
“martyrs” in reference to children who were killed in the Israel-Palestinian
conflict, not suicide bombers.
“Senior bureaucrats are not allowed to
attack elected officials – even if they are Arabs,” the MK pointed out.