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      MK Tibi: A 'Settler's Child is Also a Child'

      Tibi tries to show Arab MKs are humane, says he helped save kidnapped child of a Gush Etzion resident. Maybe he should tell terrorists.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/24/2011, 6:01 AM

      Ahmed Tibi (file)
      Ahmed Tibi (file)
      Flash 90

      In what may be an attempt to stave off criticism of Arab MKs, MK Ahmed Tibi made a Knesset speech on Tuesday in which he stressed the moral values among the Arab Knesset members, even towards Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

      “The Knesset Speaker recently approached me because of a person whose vehicle was stolen while his daughter was in it and asked me to talk to the Palestinian Authority,” said Tibi. “I did it right away, I did not even think about it twice. It was a four-year-old child. And the PA answered immediately, what did you think?”

      Tibi was referring to the incident earlier this month in which Rivlin’s adviser, Harel Toubi, stopped his car at a junction and exited the vehicle, momentarily leaving his daughter inside.

      While he was outside the vehicle a thief jumped into the vehicle and drove off with the girl inside.

      Toubi called security forces who rushed to the junction and issued an alert for the vehicle and girl. An off-duty Palestinian Authority policeman later spotted the girl at the entrance to the village of Al Aroub and returned her to Israeli authorities at the junction.

      A day after regaining his daughter, Toubi became the proud father of a newborn son. Toubi is a resident of Rosh Tzurim, a kibbutz in Israel’s Gush Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem

      “You should know that Arab MKs have humane values,” Tibi said in his speech Tuesday. “Yes. An abduction of a four-year-old girl is a terrible thing...even the when it is a daughter of ‘settlers.’ A ‘settler’ child is also a child. A ‘settler’s’ child is also a child.”

      Listeners in the audience could not help remembering the innocent Israeli children who were not fortunate enough to benefit from those values, such as Shalhevet Paz, killed by an Arab sniper's bullet at ten months, the slaughtered Fogel children, 5 year old Danielle Shefi shot point blank while hiding from terrorists under her bed, the four Hatuel daughters shot and reshot from up close, to name just a few tragedies. If Tibi would publicly exhort terrorists to refrain from purposely killing children, that might make a difference, they said, but that has not happened.

      Arab MKs, Tibi included, often make statements against the Israeli state despite being members of its parliament.

      Tibi, a former PLO advisor, has previously come under fire for making a solidarity trip to Libya to meet with Muamar Qaddafi with five other Arab Israeli legislators. The trip roused furor in Israel due to Qaddafi’s history of supporting terror and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

      The Knesset Ethics Committee recently decided to reprimand Tibi for attending the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement signing in Cairo without receiving prior permission.

      Hanin Zoabi, another Arab MK, has previously stated that she does not represent Israel and that calling Israel a Jewish state is racism. She also took part in the 2010 flotilla to Gaza and was present when IHH activists held up their weapons and attacked IDF soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara.

      Azmi Bishara, a former Arab MK, escaped from Israel when police and Shin Bet investigations found that he had assisted Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War.