Row in Israeli Knesset erupts between minister and Arab lawmaker

Ahmad Tibi demanded an apology from the minister, who refused

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During a session last week in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, a minister from the ruling Likud party spoke against a leading Arab politician from the podium, accusing him of being responsible for the bloodshed in Israel and Palestinian territories.

At the meeting, Zeev Elkin, the Ukrainian-born immigration and absorption minister, shouted at Ahmad Tibi, a member from the Joint List coalition of Arab parties, who was chairing the session.

“You and your friends are responsible for the blood spilled in recent events. You personally should not sleep at night and think of those who have been killed in recent weeks, and your share in what’s happening,” Elkin yelled.

Tibi responded by saying “You are inciting against me in an irresponsible manner, I would like to remove the minister from the podium, I’m sovereign here, I am above you, and I wish to remove the Minister from the podium.”

“What is being done here is unprecedented; I never called for violence or have been proud of killing anyone. You crossed a red line. In recent days I’ve been subject to attacks and calls for my execution.”

Elkin replied “You will never be the sovereign.”

Tibi then ordered him to leave the podium, and demanded an apology from the minister, who refused.

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