MK Tibi. Accompanied Abbas in NY
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: AP
Tibi to speak in Ramallah rally for Arafat
Arab MK to address crowds Wednesday as PA marks seven years to death of former Palestinian leader

Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) is scheduled to address a mass rally in Ramallah on Wednesday marking seven years since the death of former Palestinian President and PLO leader Yasser Arafat.


Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat's newphe Nasser al-Qidwa are also slated to speak at the rally.


In September, Tibi infuriated many MKs when he accompanied Abbas to the United Nations to submit the Palestinians' historic bid for statehood. Having once served as Arafat's advisor, Tibi flew to New York together with the PA delegation on the Palestinian presidential plane.


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Outraged by this move, many MKs filed complaints against Tibi with the Knesset's Ethics Committee. They are now slated to file similar complaints against Tibi's speech in Ramallah.


The Arab MK refused to comment, but his bureau confirmed the report.


"Tibi will give a speech addressing the national and political legacy of Arafat, who succeeded in turning the Palestinian issue from a refugee problem to a problem of a people striving for freedom. He will call for reconciliation and unity among the Palestinian factions," Tibi's office said.


The MK's spoekesman added that Tibi will also address "the rightist parties' racist attack on Israeli-Arabs."


"He will declare that Israel is intensifying the apartheid in the territories and betraying the olive branch offered by Arafat in his 1974 speech," Ahmad Mohana said. "Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) continues to carry this branch today."


MK Yariv Levin (Likud) has asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak to exercise his authority and prevent Tibi from reaching Area A which is prohibited to Israelis.


"MK Tibi is once again trying to abuse his status and the privileges given to him as a Knesset member in order to play a lead role in a terror rally meant to hurt the State of Israel and its citizens," Levin said.


"This betrayel must stop and we shall end it by rendering Tibi's trip to Ramallah a one-way journey from which there will be no way back," he said.


Mk Danny Danon added, "Tibi is continuing his treacherous approach to the State of Israel and in fact serves as a Fifth Colum in Israel's Knesset. To support Arafat's way is to incite to terror. This warrants Tibi's expulsion from the Knesset – he belongs in the Ramallah parliament."




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