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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Ahmad Tibi Suspended From Knesset

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MIDEAST ISRAEL POLITICS

The Knesset’s Ethics Committee issued a one-week suspension to MK Ahmad Tibi because of a crude poem he read in the plenum.

Tibi was criticizing MK Anastassia Michaeli for having dumped a cup of water on MK Raleb Majadle during a contentious meeting of the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee last week. The two were engaged in a verbal sparring match, with each one shouting at the other to “shut up!” when Michaeli poured a cupful of cold water on Majadle and stormed out of the room – a move that earned Michaeli a month’s ban from the Ethics Committee.

In coming to Majadle’s defense, Tibi composed a rhyming rebuke of Michaeli in which he suggested that Michaeli had suffered “a plumbing problem” that caused her watery outburst. Tibi, a former gynecologist, also used puns playing on the similar sounds of certain Hebrew and Arabic words to make a not-so-veiled derogatory reference to Michaeli’s mother.

Tibi, unrepentant, said the suspension was part of an anti-Arab crusade against him.

“There are no Arabs on the Ethics Committee, and its members treat me as an enemy, so the committee’s decisions are prejudiced,” he said.

The suspension, which goes into effect on Sunday, pertains only to plenum discussions; Tibi will be permitted to participate in votes.

Sam Ser

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