MK Tibi heads to New York to support PA statehood bid

Rivlin: A Knesset member can't join a group that seeks to harm Israel; MK Ariel calls for Knesset to remove Tibi’s parliamentary immunity.

September 18, 2011 21:00
2 minute read.
MK Ahmed Tibi

Tibi making a point in Knesset 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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MK Ahmed Tibi (Ta’al) headed to New York on Sunday, in support of the upcoming Palestinian statehood bid in the UN.

Tibi’s spokesman said that the MK is scheduled to speak in favor of a Palestinian state at Columbia University this week, at the invitation of the American-Palestinian Congress.

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Tibi denied reports from the Palestinian media that he flew to New York with the Palestinian Authority delegation, which included PA President Mahmoud Abbas, his advisers Nabil Abu Rudaineh and Majdi al-Khaldi, PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo and PLO official Saeb Erekat, according to Ma'an News Agency.

“MK Tibi is not a member of the Palestinian delegation, but he is an active supporter of the statehood bid, and will express this at every possible opportunity in New York,” the UAL-Ta’al MK’s spokesman said.

Knesset Reuven Rivlin slammed Tibi at a Likud event on Sunday evening.

“In the Knesset, anyone can say their opinion, even if we don’t like it,” Rivlin explained, “but it cannot be that a Knesset Member can join a delegation that seeks to harm Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom also spoke out against Tibi at the Likud event.

“If the reports are true, we cannot just let this go,” Shalom said. “We are in the middle of a dramatic period, and there is no possibility to accept the fact that an Israeli MK will sit with the Palestinian Authority, against our interests. This cannot be.”

“Tibi and his friends belong in the Palestinian Authority, and that is where their loyalties lie,” MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) said. “I recommend that MK Tibi take advantage of his trip to stay there, and never come back to Israel.”

MK Uri Ariel (Israel Beiteinu) said that “Tibi is using Israeli democracy as a means of betrayal. Parliamentary immunity does not give him the right to undermine the state, and freedom of expression does not give him legitimation to join the chorus of anti-Semitic incitement of those who call for a state free of Jews.”

Ariel also called for the Knesset to remove Tibi’s parliamentary immunity, and said the police should “investigate Tibi’s misdeeds and bring him to justice.”

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