'Arab MKs represent terror groups'

Lieberman: After election, Arab MKs "will experience new Middle East;" Tibi retorts: Lieberman is a fascist.

Tibi 298.88 (photo credit: )
Tibi 298.88
(photo credit: )
Two of the Knesset's most fiery orators, MKs Ahmed Tibi (UAL) and Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu) traded barbs - including accusations of terrorism and fascism - on the Knesset floor Monday as part of a discussion on Tibi's travels to enemy countries. The discussion, held during a special plenum session called into effect by the signatures of 25 MKs, was scheduled weeks after Tibi returned from a trip to Yemen that included a layover in Lebanon. Israel Beiteinu requested the discussion in April after Tibi participated in the Qatar Forum for Democracy as a member of the Palestinian delegation, where he faced off against Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni while she appeared as a keynote speaker. In response to Tibi's participation, Israel Beiteinu MKs demanded that Tibi be removed from his current position as deputy Knesset chairman. In a high-volume speech punctuated by interjections from members of Arab parties and Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, Lieberman accused the Arab MKs of acting as a "fifth column" and as serving as "representatives of terror organizations." "The fact that this member of the Israeli Knesset appeared in Qatar as a Palestinian, incites against the State of Israel and says that the country is racist, points to the fact that we have not learned anything from the Thirties and the Holocaust," said Lieberman. In his response - no less punctuated by interjections from members of Israel Beiteinu, Likud and Kadima - Tibi called Lieberman a fascist and said that he was "proud to be a son of the Palestinian people." "I said in Doha that the Bank of Israel has 900 employees and that there is not a single Arab among them. What isn't true in that? I said that Lieberman is a fascist and an immigrant. What isn't accurate?" he continued. "He is a fascist immigrant who has come to a land that isn't his. He instigates to incitement and murder." Tibi took offense at Knesset Chairwoman Dalia Itzik (Kadima) as well, when she admonished Lieberman, saying that "not all Arab MKs are terrorists." Tibi demanded that Itzik rescind her statement and restate it as "none of the Arab MKs are terrorists," but Itzik refused.