Ben-Gvir calls to remove Arab MK’s immunity after terror-inciting speech

Ahmad Tibi should be investigated for sedition and incitement after praising Jenin terrorists at a graduation ceremony in the city, Itamar Ben-Gvir tells attorney-general.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir asked Israel’s attorney-general Wednesday to remove an Arab MK’s parliamentary immunity so that he can be investigated for incitement to terror and sedition.

MK Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al) had addressed the graduating dental class of Jenin’s American University Sunday and referred to the students’ new expertise by saying, “Together, let us uproot the occupation from its source, because this occupation must be ended.”

He also praised Jenin as “representing this [Palestinian] nation with its strength and sublimeness” and “its continuing battle for freedom,” lauding those who fought against the IDF “assault” of the city last month. He was referring to Operation Home and Garden, a two-day counter-terror raid that netted over 100 terrorists and hundreds of improvised bombs and weapons meant for use against Israelis.

In his letter to Gali Baharav-Miara, Ben-Gvir wrote that Tibi’s “venomous” words, “shouted in a hoarse voice from the ceremonial stage in Arabic to the sound of thunderous applause by the inflamed audience,” justify the removal of his immunity, a legal probe, and putting the erstwhile adviser to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat on trial.

“In his speech, MK Tibi incites against the State of Israel and undermines its sovereignty and existence as a state,” the minister stated.

Tibi has “violated many laws on the Israeli law books,” he added, in his acclamation of a city that has been the source of “over 50 shooting attacks on Jews in the first half of the year alone” and “fanning the flames of hatred against the State of Israel … while praising the terrorists.”

“It is impossible to imagine a situation in which … an elected representative in the Knesset chooses to arouse those young people to fight the sovereignty and existence of the State of Israel,” Ben-Gvir wrote.

This is not the first time Ben-Gvir has opposed Tibi for his support of Palestinian terrorism. He and other right-wingers have voted several times in the Knesset’s Central Election Committee to ban the longtime parliamentarian, along with other anti-Israel parties and persons, from running, but the Supreme Court has always overturned its ruling.

The Dror faction in the Likud reacted to the incident by linking it to one of the judicial reforms that has seemingly fallen off the table – that of limiting the judiciary’s ability to dismiss acts of the legislature. The Basic Law: The Knesset, that disallows terror supporters from being MKs, was quietly “reinterpreted” by the High Court “many years ago,” the group charged, because it “decided that the Knesset’s legislation was too strict for its democratic taste and determined that it must be interpreted more leniently in order to preserve our precious democracy.”

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Dror supports the entire set of judicial reforms envisioned by Justice Minister Yariv Levin. It successfully sued in court for the party to convene its Central Committee to vote on continuing the overhaul process even if a broad consensus cannot be reached through negotiations with the Opposition.