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Daily Israel Report

MK Tibi and Feiglin Duke it Out on TV

Verbal confrontation on Israeli TV between MK Ahmed Tibi and Moshe Feiglin. Tibi said Feiglin is "moral garbage."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/16/2011, 5:09 AM / Last Update: 12/18/2011, 1:56 AM

Moshe Feiglin
Moshe Feiglin
Yoni Kempinski

A verbal confrontation broke out on Thursday between MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Taal) and the head of the Manhigut Yehudit faction in the Likud, Moshe Feiglin.

The argument took place when both were interviewed on a Channel 2 News program. The issue at hand was the ‘price tag’ operations and specifically the latest torching of mosques – one in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning and a second mosque near Shechem on Thursday.

While the arsons have largely been attributed to nationalists, Feiglin suggested in the interview that there is no evidence to suggest that and added, “The last time a mosque was torched in Tuba Zangriya, it turned out that the culprits were local Arabs themselves. Therefore, we should not jump to conclusions too quickly. Even the mayor of Tuba Zangriya had said that there was a high level of certainty that Arabs had set fire to the mosque.”

Feiglin then turned to Tibi and said that he “represents a public from which the most murderous terrorist attacks in Israel came out.” He added, “How come he (Tibi) is here representing the victim and not the terrorist supporter?”

Feiglin’s remarks angered Tibi, who said in response, “If you mean that I am of the Palestinian people, then the Palestinians are the victims of occupation. This is an attempt to divert attention from the burning of mosques in this debate and the occupation itself which uses the settlers as one of its tools.”

Tibi added, “There is a system of occupation which is the hotbed of these settlers, who since the beginning of the year have burned nine mosques. I’m sure it will happen again because settlers are never punished. The government is their ideological and logistical hotbed.”

“If synagogues were burnt in Europe everyone would say that there is an anti-Semitic wave washing the continent,” Tibi added. “This is Jewish anti-Semitism, and the man who is sitting here (Feiglin) is an anti-Semitic Jew.”

Feiglin responded by saying, “Arabs burn a synagogue in Israel almost every week and no one cares. It happened in Yafo, Akko, Nazareth and elsewhere.”

Tibi then shouted at Feiglin, “That’s slander and a lie. Do not lie. At this point, you’re on the side of the anti-Semites. You’re an anti-Semitic Jew who supports the burning of mosques.”

After Tibi got personal, Feiglin responded in the same manner and said, “Ahmed Tibi represents a public from which come most of the murderers who carry out the worst terrorist attacks inside Israel.”

Tibi responded angrily, “I reject this comparison. He is an anti-Semitic Jew and I am a humane and liberal person. I have values. I’ve never killed. He incites, he conquers and steals land. You (Feiglin) are moral garbage. You’re an occupier.”

The argument ended after Feiglin told Tibi, “You defend murderers and desecrators of cemeteries. I am not an occupier and I am telling you that this is my country and you won’t remain in it.” Tibi replied, “I am the master here. You are a temporary resident of occupied territories and you will not preach to me. Who are you anyway? You’re a criminal.”

At that point the host ended the interview and thanked both men.

Tibi, who is a former political adviser to late PLO arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, has a long history of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish statements and actions – despite him being an elected representative of Israel’s Knesset.

In September, Tibi went to New York to be a part of the Palestinian Authority’s delegation to the United Nations when it presented its unilateral statehood bid.

Last month Tibi proposed an amendment to Israel's Basic Laws that would proscribe Israeli residents in Judea and Samaria from serving on the Supreme Court.

A State Comptroller’s report recently revealed that Tibi’s Raam-Taal party used public taxpayer funding to pay for engraved plaques, which it awarded to six terrorists who took part in the assault on IDF soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara.

The obviously subversive and anti-Zionist parties Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al have been disqualified by the Elections Commission from running for the Knesset but reinstated by the High Court under President Dorit Beinisch.

The former head of the Balad party, Azmi Bishara, left Israel after the Shin Bet discovered that he had advised Hizbullah precisely where to fire its rockets during the Second Lebanon War.