Ahmed Tibi at Israel Institute of Democracy forum 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy IDI)
A student in political science at Bar-Ilan University who attended Sunday’s
tumultuous debate between MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) and MK Arieh
Eldad (Strong Israel) told The Jerusalem Post that security guards refused to
escort people out of the room until the situation had escalated to physical
The student, who did not wish to be named, said that he
repeatedly asked the guards at the Ramat Gan school to intervene as the
situation was becoming chaotic: “I said to them, ‘Please, take these people
out,’ and they said ‘no.’ “Only at the very end did they intervene and take two
students outside. But everyone was already screaming and yelling and going crazy
way before that. It wasn’t a debate, it was a near riot,” he
According to him, the two politicians remained calm and respectful
of each other as they exchanged arguments, but the students in the room had come
prepared to make noise. Most of those who initiated the disorder, he said, were
right-wing Jewish students.
“The guy behind me came with a shirt with the
picture of Rabbi [Meir] Kahane on it and another one had an IDF T-shirt on,” he
told the Post
. “They begun screaming right away, there was no listening. It
started from the moment Tibi opened his mouth.
“I actually hate Tibi,
too, but still, that was just childish, ridiculous behavior. It was
embarrassing, and the security people would not take these crazy, animal-like
people away, they just let it get to a dangerous point,” the political science
Tibi had to be escorted out from Bar-Ilan on Sunday as
members of the audience nearly assaulted him. Witnesses reported that one girl
spit on him as he walked out the room.
“Bar-Ilan University deeply
condemns the shameful behavior of the young woman who spat in the direction of
MK Ahmed Tibi, and expresses its sincere apologizes to him,” the university
wrote in a statement.
BIU contradicted the political science student’s
claims that the scene resembled a riot and added: “Despite heckling in the
audience, Dr. Tibi said what he wanted to say. This included accusations that
students in the audience have Palestinian blood on their hands, calling
terrorists ‘martyrs,’ and supporting armed resistance against
“While it may be annoying, heckling is not
threatening. Security personnel were instructed to remove anyone who
threatened those in the audience or the participants in the discussion. Indeed,
three Jewish and Arab students – two male and one female – were removed from the
auditorium because they rose from their seats and threatened each other,” the
“I will not be afraid and I will not stop going any
place, even if there are Kahanists and right-wing racists there,” Tibi said in a
statement after the events on Sunday.