Tibi: Oren must retract accusation I support terror

UAL-Ta'al MK demands ambassador to US retract comments published in 'Foreign Policy' magazine, say he twisted words.

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April 12, 2012 01:24
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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.

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Oren’s article, “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 opinions.”

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.

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