Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) was assaulted by students during a debate held between him and MK Arieh Eldad (Otzma LeYisrael) at the Bar-Ilan University. Arab students claim that at least one girl, around the age of 16, spat at the MK. Eldad said that as far as he was aware one of the students “poured some water” over Tibi. Policemen and university security guards arrived at the scene.

Guards escorted Tibi through a side room for his protection, after an Arab student apparently tried to assault another student and was removed from the debate hall. Several students yelled at Tibi: “You’re a child murderer, go to Gaza, go to Syria. That’s the place for you.” Arab students claimed that no less than three youths spat at the MK.

A Bar-Ilan student testified that “an Arab student was removed by force from the hall to loud yells. By the end of the debate a young girl, not a student, spat at Tibi. Security guards grabbed her and a policeman wrote a report.” Another student present at the debate confirmed the story. “I don’t know if she hit him, but she definitely spat at him. The Bar Ilan security guard grabbed her, took her aside and then cleared the hall.”

“I come with clean hands,” Tibi said at one point during the debate, and after a response from the audience, charged “some of you killed Arab children, shame on you.”

MK Arieh Eldad, chairman of the Otzma LeYisrael party, blamed Tibi for the commotion: “During the debate spirits ran high and most students probably couldn’t tolerate Tibi’s tone and his claim of ownership to the land of Israel and rejection of the right of the Jewish people to a democratic state.

“It was brought to my attention that one of the students apparently poured some water over him and was arrested by the university’s security forces. If that is the case we denounce the use of violence on both sides and condemn any attempt to harm MK Tibi.”

Tibi said he was called a “terrorist,” and reported that guards escorted him to a side room. The police reported that the incident “ended with no unusual events and arrests.”

Tibi said in response, “I will not be daunted and will go anywhere, even if there are racists there. I will make my voice and that of the Arab public be heard with my head held up high.”

National Student Union Chairman Matan Bar Noy said in response: “We are proud of the university administration that decided to hold such a volatile debate. Students of all sectors and from the entire political spectrum go to Bar Ilan. We deplore and condemn all violence, but will continue to encourage a democratic dialogue in the university.”


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