Itamar Ben Gvir dragged off Knesset podium for calling Arab chair ‘terrorist’


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Itamar Ben Gvir dragged off Knesset podium for calling Arab chair ‘terrorist’
Ahmad Tibi ejects far-right lawmaker from plenum after he initially refuses to refer to him as ‘Mr. Deputy Speaker’
By Raoul Wootliff

Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Religious Zionism) was forcefully removed from the Knesset podium and ejected from the plenary hall Monday night after he called the Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi, who was chairing the session, a “terrorist.” Ben Gvir, who took to the podium during a debate on coronavirus restrictions, began his address by saying, “With the permission of the Knesset speaker, Mr. minister, your excellency,” referring to the dignitaries in the hall but notably not to Tibi, who, as deputy Knesset speaker, was filling in at the time for speaker Mickey Levy.

Tibi, who heads the Ta’al faction in the predominantly Arab Israeli Joint List party, interrupted Ben Gvir and demanded to be addressed as “Mr. Deputy Speaker,” as is Knesset tradition. Ben Gvir responded, “You are a terrorist, not a sir or a Mr. You should be in the Knesset in Syria, not here.” Tibi then ordered the Knesset Guard to remove Ben Gvir from the podium and then the plenum, but the firebrand MK held on to the podium before being physically dragged from the hall. Levy, who arrived at Tibi’s side, appeared to back him up as Tibi repeatedly demanded that Ben Gvir be forcibly removed from the plenum.