A man was arrested for pouring hot tea on United Arab List-Ta’al MK Ahmed Tibi’s
head at a rally against the Prawer-Begin bill Thursday.
Tibi was lightly
“There is no doubt that incitement against Arab MKs has
results,” Tibi said following the incident. “The attack on me is a result of
increasing racism and incitement against Arab MKs specifically on the Prawer
Negev police said the man, a 48-year-old Jewish Israeli, threw a
hot beverage, most likely tea, at MK Ahmed Tibi at the protest and was arrested
and taken for investigation by Beersheba police.
They said the man is not
known to the police and is not a known activist. They say that they believe that
the act was not planned and that the man happened to be passing the protest. He
became irritated and took out his anger on Tibi.
Tibi vowed that he will
continue speaking up against the Prawer-Begin bill, which is meant to regulate
Beduin settlement in the Negev.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called
Tibi, expressing concern that “controversial processes that reach the Knesset
trickle down into the streets and turn violent.”
“The right to protest
belongs to every population group and every person with an opinion, but no one
may cross the line and take the law into his own hands,” Edelstein
“The attack on MK Tibi should be a warning to all about the way
elected officials are treated in Israel,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog
“The Israeli discourse is becoming more and more violent and in the
end another crazy person will cross the line and commit a crime.”
it’s boiling tea, tomorrow it will be a knife or a gun,” Herzog
On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said in the
Knesset that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked him to take over
responsibility for the plan. The Yisrael Beytenu minister said he is considering
it, but has not made a decision.
The Prawer-Begin bill is a five-year
economic development initiative seeking to regulate Beduin settlement in the
South, by aiming for a compromise solution for tens of thousands of Beduin
scattered in unrecognized villages throughout the Negev and legalizing 63
percent of claimed land.
Beduin supporters oppose the bill because they
say the legislation would result in up to 40,000 Beduin losing their land. They
recently held a protest against the plan that turned violent.
on the Right criticize the bill as too generous, saying the state would be
giving away land for free that Beduin could not prove to be theirs in
Last week, former minister Benny Begin said he is suspending the
plan, after being accused of giving inconsistent reports on the Beduin response
The Knesset Interior Committee plans to continue holding hearings
on the Prawer Plan and Coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) said the
bill that was under consideration requires changes and a detailed map needs to
be included in any plan, delineating exactly what land the Beduin and Jews would
Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.