Ahmad Tibi, deputy in the Israeli Knesset’s Joint List, has filed a police complaint after his face was pasted onto a pinata at a yeshiva in southern Israel and subsequently beaten, reported the Times of Israel.
The incident took place during a Purim holiday party at the Sderot pre-military hesder yeshiva, a programme which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the Israel army.
According to footage shared on social media, a pink phone-shaped effigy plastered with pictures of Tibi at the front was lowered from the ceiling. Students can be seen pounding the pinata with pair of crutches till it ripped open, releasing a torrent of small pieces of paper.
After discovering the video, Tibi filed an incitement with the Knesset Guard, which handed it over to Israel Police, Channel 12 reported yesterday.
Israeli Yeshiva students beating effigy of PaIestinian MK Ahmad Tibi as name of Haman is recited in megillah reading. Shameful hatred taught by Judeo fascists. Not my Judaism. https://t.co/pCXGoZ8Zjf
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) March 10, 2020
This is deeply troubling. This is not extremist but a National-Religious yeshiva who’s students are beating a picture of MK Ahmad Tibi. As we know from history it doesn’t take long for this to go from images to real life. https://t.co/sSoR5ipQKp
— Josh Weinberg (@joshrwein) March 10, 2020
In a statement to Channel 12 News, Tibi held Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for the incident. He explained that Netanyahu’s comments during last week’s election campaign targeted the Arab lawmaker by name, casting him as a threat to Israel.
“Since Netanyahu started inciting against me and since he erased [disregarded the Joint List’s] 15 seats, I have been receiving death threats and incitement,” he said.
“A few days ago, there were posts with offers to murder Tibi and today, this video,” he added. “We feel the assassination of an Arab or Jewish politician is imminent.”
The yeshiva also condemned the incident in a statement claiming it was the initiative of a single student.
“It was satire, in poor taste, by a single student, and is totally at odds with the Torah-educational values of the yeshiva,” it said. “The sign was removed immediately and the incident was dealt with severely.”