MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Taal) praised the Palestinian Authority’s “martyrs” at a ceremony held last week on the occasion of "Palestinian Martyrs Day” and sponsored by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The ceremony, which was broadcast on official PA TV, was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch research organization, which presented the translated video on its website.
“In the history of the peoples and their battles, the Palestinian shahid (martyr) is the height of glory,” Tibi said. “There is no higher value than death for the sake of Allah. The martyr is the one who breaks through and with his blood draws the journey to freedom and liberation.”
“The shahid is a symbol of the homeland,” he added. “I want to offer my blessings to the thousands of martyrs in the homeland and in exile, and congratulations to our and your shahids inside the Green Line, those whom the occupier wants to refer to as terrorists while we say that there is nothing higher than those who die for the homeland. That occupier is the real terrorist and in Israel he is considered a hero or a cabinet minister.”
The term “shahid” in Islam is used for a person who died for Allah, and in the PA that term is used to describe the terrorists who committed suicide attacks against Israelis.
Tibi, a former gynecologist and a longtime aide to PLO founder Yasser Arafat, has a long history of statements against the State of Israel, despite the fact that he serves as an elected member of its parliament.
In September, he 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.
He also recently 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.
On Tuesday, the Knesset's Ethics Committee ruled that Tibi would be distanced from the Knesset plenum and committees for seven days.
The ban is Tibi's punishment for crude remarks he made regarding MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beitenu) following the incident in which she intentionally spilled water on MK Raleb Majadle (Labor).
MK Tibi said in a one-minute speech to the plenum last week that MK Michaeli's "plumbing has gotten messed up,” adding that Michaeli "grew up in the manure rows of Yisrael Beitenu" and explaining that there was a logical progression from her so-called "Muezzin bill" that would limit the use of loudspeakers in minarets to the water incident, in which she "ran amok with a glass of water."
This was an excuse for him to play on the Hebrew word for "glass" and the word "amok" – which, uttered together, sound like a particularly vile Arabic curse.