Thursday, June 04, 2009
Mort Klein gets the Ahmed Tibi Heebie Jeebies in the Knesset
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Israeli Arab lawmaker clashes with U.S. visitor
Knesset member rants, demands American Jewish leader be banned
Posted: May 31, 2009
9:36 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM . An American Jewish leader was restricted by security guards
from entering Israel's parliament after he questioned an Arab lawmaker
over seemingly anti-Israel statements and practices, WND has learned.
The episode unfolded last week when Morton Klein, president of the Zionist
Organization of America, was in the Knesset waiting room with a group of
other U.S. Jewish leaders who had come to parliament for pre-scheduled
meetings with the country's top leadership, including Prime Minister
The group was about to enter when Klein noticed Israeli Arab Knesset
Member Ahmed Tibi was walking into the building.
According to Klein and several witnesses who spoke to WND, the ZOA
president approached Tibi and questioned him about a conference the
lawmaker attended in Doha last year in which he reportedly registered as a
representative for the state of "Palestine" and not Israel. Tibi, who once
was an official adviser to late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, has multiple
times represented himself as acting for "Palestine."
Klein also questioned Tibi about scores of purported anti-Israel
statements the lawmaker made, such as recent public charges of Israeli
apartheid against the Palestinians.
"I asked Tibi if he thinks it appropriate for a Knesset member to be
blackening Israel's image by calling it an apartheid state and going
around as a paid Knesset member and yet representing himself as from the
so-called state of Palestine, which doesn't exist," Klein said.
Both Klein and multiple witnesses related how after the questions were
asked, Tibi started screaming "at the top of his lungs" for security to
expel Klein, accusing the Jewish leader of physically and then verbally
More than one witness told WND Tibi was "acting like a maniac."
(Story continues below)
When the guards entered, Tibi immediately retracted his claim of physical
assault, but maintained that Klein had verbally assaulted him . a charge
denied by the many witnesses in the room at the time.
In line with instructions from the Knesset speaker, Likud member Reuven
Rivlin, security guards were instructed not to allow entry to Klein until
he formally apologized to Tibi, an action Klein refused to take.
"Why should I apologize for asking Tibi a legitimate question?" Klein
asked. "And why should Rivlin side with Tibi? Rivlin has been a friend of
mine for years and agrees with my views, plus I didn't do anything wrong."
Klein called up Knesset Members Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party
and Danny Danon of Likud, both of whom invited Klein into the building as
their personal guests, but the Jewish leader was still denied entry.
After waiting in the lobby for over two hours, Klein was finally allowed
in when Tibi accepted an in-person statement from the ZOA president that
he did not mean to offend Tibi with his questions. That statement was
brokered by a lawmaker from the opposition Kadima party. At the time,
according to witnesses, Tibi refused to shake Klein's hand.
The drama did not end there, however.
About 30 minutes after the truce, Klein and other Jewish leaders ran into
Tibi again in a large open section of the Knesset. They told WND that they
overheard Tibi speaking on his cell phone in English about how Klein was
only allowed into the building after he officially apologized to Tibi.
At that point, Klein's deputy, Steve Goldberg, approached Tibi to point
out to the lawmaker that he was inaccurately describing the fiasco.
"That's a total lie. Stop telling people that lie. Klein never
apologized," Goldberg said, according to witnesses.
Tibi then started screaming at Goldberg, prompting about 12 security
guards to rush into the room. Tibi claimed to the guards that Klein and
Goldberg had both verbally assaulted him. He demanded the pair be barred
from the Knesset immediately.
Klein and others in the room, however, pointed out that Goldberg acted
alone and that Tibi was not verbally assaulted. Tibi then relented and
instructed the guards to only boot Goldberg, who was promptly escorted
from the building and was not allowed back in that day.
In an interview with WND yesterday, Tibi claimed that when Klein first
approached him in the Knesset lobby, the Jewish leader had told Tibi he
should not be allowed in the Knesset building because of his alleged
That claim was strongly denied by Klein and other witnesses who were
Tibi also told WND that Klein was a "rightist" who is "anti-Arab."
"He has a problem with me because my first name is Ahmed," Tibi said.
Klein retorted, "No, I have a problem with him because he is anti-Israel
and also a Knesset member."
Knesset Member Danon said he filed a formal complaint with the Knesset
speaker about the episode.
"Tibi is not running the Knesset," Danon told WND. "There is no reason a
Jewish leader who spends his life defending Israel abroad should have to
go through this travesty in the Knesset building. I am proud Klein did not
apologize, and I commend him for the questions he asked Tibi."
2. And you thought that Bar Ilan University was immune from the disease
of Jewish self-hatred and auto-annihilation? Think again:
3. Beinin the obsessed anti-ZIonist:
4. Ordinarily there is virtually nothing that any Israeli Labor Party
hack says with which I can find agreement. But this time is an exception.
The Labor Party secretary general, sort of like the Chief Commissar, has
denounced Yuli Tamir, who was until recently Minister of Education. The
general secretary, Weizmann Shiri, says that Tamir is a nothing and has
remained a nothing.
Tamir is best remembered for introducing material into the Israeli
calling for Israelis to mourn the very existence of their country
as a "Nakba," and for defending "female circumcision" in the Third World.
Here is the full piece:
'Yuli Tamir was nothing and remained nothing'
By Gidi Weitz
The new Labor secretary general, Weizmann Shiri, delivers an unprecedented
attack on the party's "rebels" in an interview tomorrow in Haaretz
"None of them, if you stand them one-on-one in front of [Ehud] Barak, has
accomplished or will accomplish 10 percent of what he did for Israel's
security in particular and for the country in general. You're looking at
people who have been party activists all their lives, and I say that in
the negative sense of the word, political hacks, who are guided by their
personal agenda and nothing else. I know a large percentage of these
people, and I feel disdain for them, " Shiri said. Advertisement
Does Shiri think it is reasonable for the rebels to vote against the
"Listen carefully, that's why they're changing the constitution, so that
whoever decides that he wants to behave like that will decide his
political future for himself, period. Some of them, their future has
already been decided."
As for the former chairman of the Labor Party, Amir Peretz, who served as
defense minister during the Second Lebanon War, Shiri says:
"Look, in the eyes of the world, the Israel Defense Forces had turned into
an army of dishrags that was incapable of getting water for its soldiers.
You have to tell the truth and only the truth - all the rest is slogans.
In every properly run country that man would have been kicked out, along
with the prime minister."
Of one of the rebels, former education minister Yuli Tamir, Shiri says:
"She was nothing and she has remained nothing. Her history does not prove
that she is the most honest of people. She came from Peace Now, and she
sat in a government with Ehud Olmert and said he was one of the best prime
ministers, in spite of all the corruption.... She has no problem at all.
It's a type of hypocrisy and ingratitude. I'm saying in the clearest
possible way that she does not represent the electorate of the Labor
With regard to the ousting of his predecessor, MK Eitan Cabel, Shiri says:
"I heard Eitan Cabel calls Barak 'the emperor.' It's a shame and a
disgrace. He compared Barak to Hugo Chavez; he could have come closer to
the Middle East and compared him to Assad. It's nerve to claim his ousting
was a dictatorial decision. Had Barak not ousted him, they would have
called him a dishrag."
Shiri also gives a verbal trouncing to former justice minister Haim Ramon,
Barak's most outspoken critic: "Haim Ramon is a person who is full of
poison. This is a bad man, a manipulator. He should look in the mirror and
ask himself how he will be remembered in the pages of history."
In response to Shiri's remarks, Peretz said: "I left Barak an army with a
training program, a long-term acquisitions program, a different deployment
of the home front and the National Emergency Authority, which was
established during my tenure. I accept the fact that I paid the price of
the belligerence surrounding the war; those who benefited from it were the
defense establishment and the Jewish people. It is beneath my dignity to
discuss Shiri and Ehud Barak, who led the party to the most embarrassing
failure in its history."
Yuli Tamir said: "It's no wonder that Barak hired a pathetic mercenary to
run his ideological wars for him. He's afraid to do it himself."
Eitan Cabel responded: "It's embarrassing for me to even respond. What is
going on in Labor these days speaks volumes. I agree with Shiri on one
point - I should have quit my job as secretary general the minute the
party convention decided to join the Netanyahu government."