MK Ahmad Tibi: I admired Arafat

Israeli Knesset Member says he looks up to former PLO leader as a symbol, Israelis have distorted Arafat's character.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ahmad Tibi
Ahmad Tibi
Knesset channel

MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) said Tuesday that he admired former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, and even compared him to Nelson Mandela.

Arafat was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world. In 1994 he received a joint Nobel Peace Prize for signing the Oslo Accords with Israel and became the leader of the Palestinian Authority. In 2000 Arafat launched the Second Intifada, a five-year campaign of terror which resulted in the murder of over 1,000 Israelis, mostly civilians.

MK Tibi, who was Arafat's Israeli adviser, told the Knesset channel today that he had a close relationship with Arafat. "It was almost a daily thing," he said.

Tibi was responsible for "his connection with the Israeli media and the Israeli public. There were meetings with parts of the Israeli public that I initiated and he met with them. They would get to know him, and he would get to know them. They would hear him, and he would hear them. It broke barriers."

"I admired him as a symbol," said MK Tibi. After Tibi was told that many in the Jewish people consider Arafat a "murderer" he said: "In South Africa the whites also said this about Nelson Mandela and the whites distorted the death of Martin Luther King."

To the question of the interviewer, Moran Azoulay, did they "distort Arafat's character?" Tibi replied: "Unequivocally. Did people lose their lives in the national conflict as a result of Yasser Arafat's leadership and symbolism? The answer is yes, but it much less than under the instructions given by Israeli prime ministers who wore suits and ties. He wore a military suit."