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Ahmed Tibi at Israel Institute of Democracy forum 370.(Photo by: Courtesy IDI)
MK Tibi: Israel has been disturbing Arabs since 1948
Culture and Sport Minister Livnat retorts: Riots against Jews in Israel started long before establishment of the state.
A discussion in the Knesset on policy toward publishers turned ugly when MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) decided to complain that Israel has been a thorn in his side since its establishment.

Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat responded to questions in the plenum about the Books and Authors Bill, which aims to give fair pay to authors by limiting discounts on books, when several MKs were speaking loudly in the background.

"Could you stop disturbing me?" Livnat asked.

"You've been disturbing us since 1948," Tibi responded, referring to the year Israel was established and, apparently, the Israeli-Arab population he represents.

Livnat corrected Tibi: "That's not true, it started before that," but Tibi said "no."

"The massacres were before 1948," the Culture and Sport Minister pointed out.

In 1929, for example, 133 Jews were killed and over 300 injured in a massacre by Arabs in Hebron, Tzfat and other places in Israel.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein chimed in: "The request was that you don't disturb the plenum, not to start a diplomatic debate."

"Why not? It's more interesting," MK Hilik Bar (Labor) asked.

"You know what, it's not more interesting. This is an important topic, too," Livnat replied, and went back to books, authors and publishers.
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