Tibi suspended from Knesset over ‘inappropriate’ remarks

MK Ahmad Tibi suspended for a week for reading limerick with ‘sexual connotations, chauvinist language’ about MK Anastasia Michaeli.

January 17, 2012 14:51
2 minute read.
Ahmed Tibi

Ahmed Tibi_311. (photo credit: Reuters/Mahfouz Abu Turk)


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MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) has been suspended from the Knesset for one week, after the Knesset Ethics Committee determined Tuesday that a plenum speech he gave about MK Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) included “inappropriate language [and] insults with sexual connotations that are humiliating and chauvinist.”

Following last week’s incident in which Michaeli poured a cup of water on MK Ghaleb Majadle (Labor) in anger, and her subsequent suspension from the Knesset for a month, Tibi used some controversial wordplay in a plenum speech to describe the events.

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The UAL-Ta’al MK wrote in his defense to the Ethics Committee that he had been talking about Michaeli’s “pouring a cup while running amok.”

However, the combination of the Hebrew words for “cup” and “amok” sound similar to the Arabic curse “your mother’s vagina.”

In addition, Tibi said she was “pouring,” the Hebrew word for which could also be understood as a reference to former model Michaeli’s figure.

He also said in his speech that “Anastasia’s plumbing broke.” The Hebrew word for plumbing, “instalatzia,” rhymes with “Anastasia.”

The Ethics Committee expressed disgust at Tibi’s words. The committee said it found his indiscretion to be even more serious because he had written his speech in advance, rather than making the remarks in an outburst.

“MK Tibi cheapened and disrespected the Knesset and its members,” the committee wrote.

The UAL-Ta’al MK will not be allowed to participate in plenum or committee discussions for one week beginning on Sunday. However, he will be permitted to vote.

Tibi reacted to the punishment by saying he was “amazed but not surprised.”

He quipped that the Ethics Committee must have “scared itself” with Michaeli’s month-long suspension, and decided to “create a balance by bizarrely suspending an Arab MK.”

The MK added that members of the committee treated him like an enemy, and any decision connected to him was “infected” with prejudice.

“Maybe the committee’s plumbing broke, and it ran amok without a cup?” Tibi said.

Michaeli, however, said that Tibi “got off easy” and that she hoped the children of Israel would not learn from the UAL-Ta’al MK’s “rude language.”

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