Photo Credit: Knesset channel YouTube screenshot
Deputy Knesset Speaker Ahmed Tibi (3rd from right) Kicks Out Likud Minister Elkin (left).

( A clash reverberated throughout the Israeli legislature Wednesday night, as MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint Arab List), who ran the assembly meeting in his role as Knesset Deputy Speaker, instructed that Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin be removed from the podium during his speech, following a harsh exchange of words between them.

As part of a motion entitled, “The cabinet’s decision to impose curfews and closures on the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem,” Elkin took to the podium to present the government’s response. During his speech, Elkin told Tibi, “You and your friends are responsible for the blood spilled in recent events, both of Jews and Arabs. 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.”


Tibi was livid at Elkin, ordered Elkin to shut up and attacked him back: “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 call for my execution.”

In response, Elkin replied: “You will never be the sovereign,” at which point Tibi ordered him to leave the podium. He demanded an apology from Elkin, who refused, and then ordered his removal from the plenum.

After Elkin had been removed by the Knesset stewards out of the hall, MK Yinon Magal (Bayit Yehudi) said: “We got a chance to see what will happen if the Arabs will be sovereign, no protocol and no rules. I am now the sovereign and you will get the heck out of here, that’s what we’ve heard now, and that’s an example of what would happen here if the Arabs will be the sovereign, God forbid.”

Later on Wednesday, Elkin wrote on his Facebook page: “Contempt! Ahmed Tibi took me off the podium only because I had dared to tell him the truth in his face. It is a direct continuation of the incitement and lies that he and his friends are spreading! I filed a complaint with the Ethics Committee about him and demanded of the Knesset Speaker to remove Tibi from running meetings. It’s time he learned who is the true sovereign here!”


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