During Wednesday`s debate on a cabinet decision to enforce closures and curfews on some east Jerusalem neighborhoods, Deputy Knesset Speaker Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List), who was chairing the debate in place of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, ordered ushers to escort Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze`ev Elkin (Likud) from the podium and out of the plenary hall after the latter accused him and other Arab lawmakers of bearing responsibility for the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror that has gripped the country.
When Elkin took to the podium to respond on behalf of the government during the debate, he said, ”It is important to understand why the wave of terror is happening,” and charged that Tibi ”and people like you” are ”spreading lies in the full knowledge of what Israel is doing on the Temple Mount.”
”You and your comrades are responsible for the blood spilled in the recent events, both of Jews and Arabs,” Elkin shouted at Tibi, who was sitting a few meters away in the speaker`s chair. ”You, personally, should not sleep at night and should think about everyone who has been killed in the recent weeks and what part you have played in what happened.”
”You are inciting against me irresponsible incitement, I request that the minister be removed from the podium,” Tibi fumed. ”I am the sovereign here (in the plenum). What is going on here is unprecedented, I never called for violence. You have crossed a red line. Over the past few days I have been subjected to attacks and calls to execute me.”
After Elkin was removed from the hall, MK Yinon Magal (HaBayit HaYehudi) criticized Tibi for using his authority as speaker to silence the accusations against him.
”We had an opportunity to see what will happen if the Arabs became the sovereigns, there is no regulation, there are no rules,” Magal said. ”I am now the sovereign and you will get out of here’, that is what we heard now and this is an example of what will happen here if the Arabs are the sovereigns, God forbid.”