A Jewish man threw hot tea at an Arab Member of Knesset on Thursday as the MK took part in a controversial rally.
MK Ahmed Tibi was in Be’er Sheva as part of a protest against the Prawer plan, which suggested solving the problem of dozens of illegal Bedouin settlements in southern Israel by legalizing some of the communities and transferring others.
Tibi, like other Arab MKs, has slammed the plan as “racist”, and argues that it would be immoral for Israel to forcibly relocate the illegal communities. The plan has been shelved, but talks about the matter continue.
Earlier this year he was briefly banned from chairing Knesset debates after pouring water over a copy of the Prawer plan at the Knesset podium - and damaged expensive sound equipment in the process.
Tibi suffered light injuries from the hot tea. The man who threw the tea was arrested.
Tibi later released a statement blaming the political right for the attack. “There is no doubt that the political right is inciting against Arab MKs – there is a result,” he accused.
“The attack against me is the result of the increasing racism and incitement against Arab MKs, particularly regarding the Prawer plan,” he argued.
MK Tibi is among the most prominent Arab political leaders in Israel. He is known for making frequent anti-Israel statements. During debates on the Prawer bill he argued that Israeli Arabs have a “duty” to rebel, and in recent months he has defended violent attacks on IDF soldiers and has called to forcibly prevent Jews from accessing the Temple Mount – Judaism’s most holy site – because, he said, they “contaminate” it.
Knesset Speaker: I was afraid of this
Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein condemned the attack on Tibi. "I was afraid - and I am still afraid - that the controversial matters that come before Knesset could create tension that reaches the streets and even leads to violence," he said.
"Every sector of society, and every person with an opinion, has a right to protest," Edelstein declared. "But it is forbidden for anyone to cross the line and take the law into his own hands."