MK Ahmed Tibi, who is usually very fond of giving interviews to the media, apparently draws the line when a media outlet located in Judea and Samaria is involved.
Tibi was in attendance at the annual Eilat Journalists’ Conference on Tuesday, where students from the communications department at the Ariel University in Samaria (Shomron) asked to interview him for their campus radio station.
The controversial Arab MK refused but, according to the students, did not do so politely, with him and his parliamentary aides resorting to verbal abuse against the students.
The spokesperson of the Student Union of the University of Ariel, Adina Berlin, told Arutz Sheva that Tibi and his aides put on a shameful display, with Tibi saying he refused to give an interview to a station run by “settlers”.
“At the last conference we also asked to interview him for the student radio station and he refused saying we are a ‘settler station,’” she said. “He showed us no respect. As an elected official, it is inappropriate and degrading.”
Berlin noted that many leftists have agreed to give interviews to the radio station at the Ariel University.
“We are a campus radio station with no political affiliation,” she said. “I am not ashamed of the term settler, but we are a university that has proved itself and was upgraded to the status of a university not by grace but because it deserved it. We have students from the entire Israeli population, both ‘settlers’ as well as Arabs.”
A polite refusal from Tibi would have been fine, she said, but his staff resorted to verbal abuse.
“His assistants pushed us away and insulted us. It was inappropriate,” said Berlin.
Tibi, like many Arab MKs, has a history of inappropriate behavior and he is notorious for his anti-Israel statements and actions, despite being an elected member of the Israeli parliament.
Tibi has in the past praised the Palestinian Authority’s “martyrs” at a ceremony held on the occasion of "Palestinian Martyrs Day” and sponsored by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
He has also called for a boycott of products manufactured in Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem, saying that “settlements are a cancer spreading all over Palestinian land, and cancer should be treated and eradicated. I am talking about a peaceful and non-violent way by not buying or selling or dealing in these products from these settlements.”
Just last week, Tibi got into a shouting match with Jewish MKs, when he called MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) a “Kahanist” for comments he made during a discussion before the approval of a law raising the legal marriage age to 18.
That incident came just hours after Tibi, along with other Arab MKs, interrupted a discussion at the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee which dealt with Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Tibi accused MKs on the right of “starting another intifada” because of their support for Jews who wished to pray on the Temple Mount.
Tibi recently said that Jews have no right to visit the Temple Mount, and should be prevented from “contaminating” the holy site.
The Ariel University was finally recognized as a university last year after a long and drawn-out process, with the opposition to the move mostly being political and not academic in nature.