Arab MKs give NU's Ben-Ari cold shoulder

Lawmakers leave plenum as new National Union lawmaker begins his introductory speech.

By SHELLY PAZ
March 3, 2009 01:39
Arab MKs give NU's Ben-Ari cold shoulder

michael ben-ari 248.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari received a cold welcome in the Knesset on Monday, as Arab lawmakers left the plenum when he began his introductory speech. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said that he and his colleagues would walk out whenever Ben-Ari spoke. "We will treat Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari just as we treated [Kach Party leader Rabbi] Meir Kahane when he served as a Knesset member," Tibi said. During Kahane's term from 1984-1988, it was not only Arab MKs who would walk out of the room when he spoke, but also many from other parties, including right-wing ones. Balad MK Jamal Zahalka said that the fact that other, Zionist, MKs had not left the plenum on Monday showed where they stood. "Back then, we walked out because of Kahane, and this time we are walking out because of his follower," Zahalka said. "I am very pleased that the fifth column walked out during my speech. I hope it's a sign for the future and that soon we will see them walking out of Israel's Knesset," Ben-Ari said.

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