Tibi leaves Holocaust commemoration event as Ben-Gvir reads victims' names

Tibi, who opposes Israel as a specifically Jewish state, is fiercely antagonistic towards Ben-Gvir and his far-right, ultra-nationalist party which seeks to encourage Arab emigration from Israel.

Joint list party member Ahmad Tibi speaks during a press conference presenting the Joint list hebrew election campaign in Tel Aviv, February 23, 2021.  (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Joint list party member Ahmad Tibi speaks during a press conference presenting the Joint list hebrew election campaign in Tel Aviv, February 23, 2021.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List  demonstratively left a Knesset commemoration ceremony for victims of the Holocaust when MK Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionist Party was called to participate.
Tibi, who opposes Israel as a specifically Jewish state, is fiercely antagonistic toward Ben-Gvir and his far-right, ultra-nationalist party, which seeks to encourage Arab emigration from Israel.
Tibi took to Twitter following the end of the ceremony to explain his actions.
“We will fight against violence, against racism, and against fascism,” he wrote, adding that the Holocaust recalled “the history of racial theory. I will never give legitimacy to a racist who denies my human rights and those of my people because of who I am and who we are.”
Ben-Gvir was quick to respond, saying Tibi had not offended him but the memory of those who survived and those who died.
“The assistant of the murderous leader [Yasser] Arafat should not be in the Knesset of Israel,” Ben-Gvir tweeted. “Every moment that the terror-supporter Tibi is present in the Knesset is spitting in the face of the Jewish people and millions of [Holocaust] victims.” 

In a separate tweet he added, “Do me a favor and leave every time I get up to speak. It will be my honor.”
Tibi did not respond on whether he intends to boycott every speech and activity of Ben-Gvir in the Knesset.
One MK who did announce, specifically on Holocaust Remembrance Day, that he would be boycotting not only Ben-Gvir but the entire Religious Zionist Party was Meretz MK and former IDF deputy-chief of staff Yair Golan. 
“In the face of evil it is forbidden to be silent, that is my lesson from Holocaust Remembrance Day” tweeted Golan. “Every time that representatives of the racist and benighted ‘Religious Zionist’ Party get up to speak I will leave the [Knesset] plenum. It cannot be that we, who suffered persecution for hundreds of years, will persecute others. ‘A light unto the nations and a exemplary society’ – this will not happen as long as [Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel] Smotrich and Ben-Gvir are found in our public life.”
One MK who made amends for previous, insensitive comments about Holocaust Remembrance Day was Labor MK Ibtisam Mara’ana.
Several years ago Mara’ana made flippant and dismissive comments about Holocaust Remembrance Day on Twitter, specifically saying she did not stop driving during the two minutes of silence when the siren commemorates the Holocaust, adding that it was a lovely two minutes.
On Thursday, Mara’ana observed the two-minute silence at the Knesset, attended the “Every person has a name” ceremony in which MKs read out the names of Holocaust victims, and lit a candle in memory of Holocaust survivors.

“I too will remember,” she tweeted. “For the sake of the survivors, the children, and the victims of hate. Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day is a day that teaches us all the price of hatred and evil.”
During the “Every person has a name” ceremony, MK Avi Maoz of the Religious Zionist Party was verbally assaulted by a guest at the event, who said “It’s a shame you’re alive, and that your parents weren’t burnt there.”