Right-wing Activists Attack Arab Lawmaker Ahmad Tibi at Event in Central Israel

At event, Tibi says that member of Arab-majority Joint List would have been murdered if minority government was formed with their support

Jonathan Lis
Bar Peleg
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A right-wing activists attempts to strike lawmaker Ahmad Tibi with an Israeli flag, Ramat Hasharon, November 30, 2019.
A right-wing activists attempts to strike lawmaker Ahmad Tibi with an Israeli flag, Ramat Hasharon, November 30, 2019.Credit: The Joint List

MK Ahmed Tibi of the Joint List was attacked by right-wing activists on Saturday while entering an event in the central city of Ramat Hasharon, with some calling him a "killer."

A video of the incident shows one woman trying to hurt Tibi with an Israeli flag. Police later stated that a woman who allegedly tried to throw sand and branches at him had been detained for questioning, and was later released.

At the event, Tibi said he believed that one of the Joint List MKs would have been murdered if a minority government with the party's support had been formed.

When asked about the basis of his claim, Tibi replied: "From past experience. Once it worked for Netanyahu, there is no reason why it won't work because we are easier targets than a prime minister. If they do a microscopic examination of Netanyahu's hands, they will see Rabin's blood stains. The man sitting on the porch is responsible."

After the incident, Tibi said: "I was invited and I came to listen and to be listened to. I was struck with a flag stick by a demonstrator and with a placard, and on the way out sand and handfuls of soil were thrown at me. Inside the hall a stimulating, civil debate took place and I want to thank everyone who came to listen."

Tibi then added that "This violence is the direct result of the incitement by the defendant from Balfour,” referring to Netanyahu’s comments on Joint List members’ alleged support for Gaza militants.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, also criticized Netanyahu after the incident. "The hate and violence Netanyahu disseminates is spreading like wildfire," he said.

"Arab citizens, Jews from the left, journalists, judicial authorities, and even members of his party, all lose out from an ideological standpoint. The outgoing prime minister is a psychopath posing incredible danger. He is a criminal with his back to the wall. Does anyone doubt that he will deny the political motivation behind the next murder?” he said.

The event was to be held at the Yad LeBanim organization in Ramat Hasharon, and was moved to another location following the organization's request. Its chairman wrote to the city's mayor that "Ahmad Tibi's statements hurt the feelings of some of the bereaved families."

The municipality then announced that "out of consideration for the request of the Yad LeBanim organization," the event will take place at a different venue nearby.