MK Ahmed Tibi became an overnight celebrity in Canada this week after he heckled Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his address to the Knesset.
Since heckling Harper on Monday, Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) has given 15 interviews to Canadian media outlets and has been invited to speak at universities in multiple provinces.
Tibi said he would go to Canada in the spring to lecture and give more interviews.
“I wanted to hurt Harper in Canada because of his pro-Israel policies, and I think I succeeded,” Tibi said. “I am looking forward to visiting Toronto for the first time. Everyone says it’s nice there. But I promise to not run against him in Canada if he doesn’t run here.”
During a portion of Harper’s address when he spoke against boycotts of Israel, Tibi shouted in English: “Don’t mislead; we want to boycott settlements.”
When Harper spoke about Israel not being an apartheid state and called condemnation of Israel “the face of the new anti-Semitism,” Tibi pointed at the coalition’s side of the plenum, shouting “That’s where the Likud sits; you should be there,” and then he and Beduin MK Taleb Abu Arar (UAL) demonstratively walked out.
The verbal tussle between Harper and Tibi made the news in media outlets across Canada.
Tibi’s Twitter feed was full of support from Canadians who oppose Harper and Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu boasted on his Facebook page that Harper’s heckling was proof of the vibrancy of Israeli democracy.
Netanyahu’s speech before Harper’s at the Knesset was also heckled by Tibi, who shouted that Abu Arar had no electricity and water in his village.
Netanyahu then posted a picture of Abu Arar’s three-story home on his Facebook page with proof that it has both electricity and water. Tibi responded on Netanyahu’s Facebook page that posting the picture was childish and intended to hide Israel’s embarrassment over the state of unrecognized Beduin villages.
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin slammed Tibi’s treatment of Harper at the Knesset on Wednesday and on his Facebook page.
“When I – with G-d’s help – will be prime minister, this adviser to the murderer Arafat will be in prison and not in the Israeli Knesset,” Feiglin wrote.