'Arab MK's light punishment is ridiculous'

Min. Ze'ev Elkin expected the Ethics Committee to punish rogue MK Tibi more severely for ejecting him from podium.

Gil Ronen ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Immigrant Absorption Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) reacted Tuesday to the Knesset Ethics Committee's decision to slap MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) on the wrist and reprimand Elkin, after Tibi forced Elkin off the podium and out of the plenum during a debate.

"I am proud to have been reprimanded for defending the honor of the nation and for saying the truth in the face of Ahmed Tibi," Elkin said. "I do not take back any of the things that I said. 'Ahmed Tibi and his partners, in their incitement and blood libels against Israel and its soldiers, bear responsibility for the current terror wave, and the blood of both Jews and Arabs that is being spilled!'

"I will carry on with the uncompromising struggle against Israel's enemies and will do everything to make clear to Ahmed Tibi that he is not the sovereign one here!" he added, using Tibi's own words during the heated exchange at the Knesset podium.

"I regret that the Ethics Committee, out of considerations of political pressure, chose to punish Tibi with the ridiculous sanction of just two weeks' suspension [from chairing Knesset debates]," Elkin stated. "I hereby ask the Knesset Speaker to use his authority to distance MK Tibi from chairing sessions for a much longer period of time.

He summed up: "It is time that we stop folding and fearing, and fight back strongly against those who incite and defame the state of Israel from inside the Knesset!"

Elkin had addressed Tibi from the podium last week, when the latter was presiding as chair over a plenum session.

"People like you spread lies, knowing full well that they are doing so, regarding what Israel does on the Temple Mount, and claiming that Israel is abrogating the status quo. You are responsible for the blood that will be spilled, of both Jews and Arabs," he turned and told Tibi. "You personally, Mr. Chairman."

Tibi took advantage of his position running the Knesset session and asked Elkin to apologize, asserting: "I am the sovereign."

The minister refused and said, "you will never be sovereign," whereupon Tibi ordered Knesset guards to remove Elkin from the platform, and then from the plenum.