Photo: Gil Yohanan
Zeev. Left angrily
Photo: Zoom 77
Tibi: Shoah victims must understand Palestinians
Arab MK says objects to use of Holocaust as a political tool, but sparks row as he addresses Knesset. 'Racism has become a mainstream practice in Israeli society and is the thread that connected the ends of Nazi ideology,' he says. MK Nissim Zeev of Shas leaves hall in protest
Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) addressed the Israeli parliament on Wednesday during a special session marking International Holocaust Day and sparked a row as he compared between the suffering of the Holocaust victims and the Palestinians.
"Those who were victims of that terrible death must connect to the cry of the bereaved mothers whose house was destroyed and who has buried her children and to the crying of doctor who lost his daughters," Tibi said. "The good people must voice their opinions rather than their loud silence."
MK Nissim Zeev (Shas) said in response, "I cannot listen to this and remain silent." He got up and left the hall angrily.
Earlier, Tibi said that the Holocaust "was an industry of death which is the result of an ideology of hatred and racism."
He added, "I reiterate that I am filled with empathy towards the families of Holocaust victims wherever they are across the world, including those I live with in the same country. This is a moment in which a person must take off all his national hats and only be human. These are the naturally good people. I turn to them and say: Aggression and messianic nationalism are the ways to draw a massive foundation of people to support a policy aimed at crushing them and all of us."
Tibi also praised his colleague, MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash), for his decision to join a Knesset members' delegation to Auschwitz. "There is nothing more foolish and immoral than denying the Holocaust," he said.
"We are in an era of realizing the rights for self-definition and freedom. We must stand firmly against phenomena of denying and oppressing the other," Tibi added.
He went on to say, "I am a proud and happy Arab. This is the place to stress once again that the Holocaust must not be a tool in the political discourse. It must not be commercialized. It is the greatest crime against modern humanity."
He added, "Racism was the thread connecting between the ends of this horrible ideology. We must cry out against any phenomenon of discrimination and racism. Racism has become a mainstream practice in Israeli society."