MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) has been suspended from the Knesset for one week,
after the Knesset Ethics Committee determined Tuesday that a plenum speech he
gave about MK Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) included “inappropriate
language [and] insults with sexual connotations that are humiliating and
Following last week’s incident in which Michaeli poured a
cup of water on MK Ghaleb Majadle (Labor) in anger, and her subsequent
suspension from the Knesset for a month, Tibi used some controversial wordplay
in a plenum speech to describe the events.
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The UAL-Ta’al MK wrote in his
defense to the Ethics Committee that he had been talking about Michaeli’s
“pouring a cup while running amok.”
However, the combination of the
Hebrew words for “cup” and “amok” sound similar to the Arabic curse “your
In addition, Tibi said she was “pouring,” the Hebrew
word for which could also be understood as a reference to former model
He also said in his speech that “Anastasia’s plumbing
broke.” The Hebrew word for plumbing, “instalatzia
,” rhymes with
The Ethics Committee expressed disgust at Tibi’s words. The
committee said it found his indiscretion to be even more serious because he had
written his speech in advance, rather than making the remarks in an
“MK Tibi cheapened and disrespected the Knesset and its
members,” the committee wrote.
The UAL-Ta’al MK will not be allowed to
participate in plenum or committee discussions for one week beginning on Sunday.
However, he will be permitted to vote.
Tibi reacted to the punishment by
saying he was “amazed but not surprised.”
He quipped that the Ethics
Committee must have “scared itself” with Michaeli’s month-long suspension, and
decided to “create a balance by bizarrely suspending an Arab MK.”
added that members of the committee treated him like an enemy, and any decision
connected to him was “infected” with prejudice.
“Maybe the committee’s
plumbing broke, and it ran amok without a cup?” Tibi said.
however, said that Tibi “got off easy” and that she hoped the children of Israel
would not learn from the UAL-Ta’al MK’s “rude language.”