MK Tibi uses Palestinian embassy to set up Bucharest trip, angering Israel

Foreign Ministry officials have been updated in recent days by their counterparts in Romania regarding Tibi’s anticipated trip.

MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL - Ta'al) in the Knesset. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL - Ta'al) in the Knesset.
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi angered the Foreign Ministry on Thursday by planning a visit to Romania through the Palestinian, rather than Israeli, embassy there.
Diplomatic officials said they were “shocked” and “saddened” that there are Arab Mks who act in a defiant way against the state.
Tibi, who heads the Ra’am-Tal faction on the predominantly Arab Joint List, met in Bucharest Thursday with Romanian parliamentarians.
Tibi defended his decision not to arrange his trip with the Foreign Ministry on Twitter, writing in Arabic that he was invited by Arab students in Bucharest to mark “Land Day” with them, and wrote in English that he was invited by the “Palestinian community.”
According to Tibi, there are 2,300 Palestinians in Romania, over half of whom are students.
Land Day is when Israeli Arabs and Palestinians commemorate the deaths of six Arabs in the Galilee in 1976 during riots over a government decision to expropriate land.
MK Anat Berko (Likud) responded to Tibi on Twitter: “Thanks for the update. For a moment I thought you were going as a member of the Israeli parliament.”
Tibi told Israel Radio that this wasn’t the first time that he had arranged an official visit abroad in this manner and claimed that he had received authorization from the Knesset ethics panel.
During his visit to Romania, Tibi met with members of the Romanian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and condemned the recent terrorist attacks by Islamic State in Turkey and Brussels.
“The Muslim world and Muslim religion have no connection to these crimes, which violate the spirit of Islam, just as Christianity is not connected to crimes committed by Christians and Judaism is not connected to crimes committed by Jews,” Tibi said.
The Joint List MK also asserted that “settlements are the real obstacle to fulfilling the vision of two states.
“The Netanyahu government’s policy supporting settlements caused a dead end [in negotiations] and a lack of hope, which leads to an escalation of the conflict.”
Herb Keinon and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.