The Central Elections Committee is likely to discuss the possibility of
disqualifying MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) from being reelected to the Knesset, due
to a speech in which he said that “nothing is more praiseworthy than martyrdom,”
according to Central Elections Committee Chairwoman and Supreme Court Justice
Since a general election has not been set for anytime soon,
the committee cannot officially examine Tibi’s behavior, Naor wrote in a letter
released on Sunday, explaining she does not have the authority to disqualify
sitting Knesset members.
“However, we should not reject the possibility
that the topic will arise in the Central Elections Committee’s
According to Basic Law: The Knesset, a candidate or party
running for Knesset membership may be disqualified if it rejects Israel’s
existence as a Jewish and democratic state, incites racism, or supports armed
combat by an enemy state or terrorist organization against the State of
Naor’s letter was a response to a request by Likud Nationalist
Camp activist Yossi Fox to disqualify Tibi from upcoming elections.
also wrote to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, asking that he open a criminal
investigation of the MK.
Earlier this month, a video shot at a
Palestinian Authority event honoring martyrs shows Tibi saying “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 other terrorists who are killed while
In the video released by the Palestinian Media Watch
organization, Tibi says that “in the history of nations and their conflicts, the
martyr is the ultimate source of pride.”
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.
Tibi declined to comment on Naor’s letter, saying
his previous explanation of his speech stands.