|Date of birth||19 December 1958|
|Place of birth||Tayibe, Israel|
|Knessets||15, 16, 17, 18, 19|
|Party represented in Knesset|
Ahmad Tibi (Arabic: أحمد الطيبي, Hebrew: אחמד טיבי, sometimes spelt Ahmed Tibi, born 19 December 1958) is an Arab-Israeli politician and leader of Ta'al (the Arab Movement for Renewal), an Arab party in Israel. He currently serves as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He was elected on a joint ticket with the United Arab List to serve in Israel's parliament, the Knesset. He describes himself as Arab-Palestinian in nationality, and Israeli in citizenship.
Tibi is also a trained physician and graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Tibi was born in Tayibe in 1958.
Tibi studied medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and graduated with honors in 1983.[unreliable source?] He began an internship as a physician at Hadassah Hospital in 1984, and met PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Tunis that same year.
Tibi served as a political advisor to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for several years, representing the Palestinians at the 1998 Wye River negotiations. He's quoted as saying (7/13/94): "The person responsible on behalf of the Palestinians people for everything that was done in the Israel-Palestinian conflict is Yasser Arafat..."[dubious ] He resigned from the post in 1999, upon deciding to run for the Knesset. Tibi described his relationship with Arafat as "close" and "extremely interesting and important to [him]." Tibi later visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and urged him to hold firm in refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Tibi identifies himself as a "Palestinian Patriot".
He was first elected to the Knesset in the 1999 elections as a member of Azmi Bishara's Balad party, but broke away and formed his own party Ta'al (Arab Movement for Renewal) during the Knesset session.
In 2002 MK Michael Kleiner initiated actions in the Knesset to restrict movements by Tibi inside the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Kleiner claimed that Tibi was assisting the Palestinians in their war against Israel. Tibi protested the Knesset's decision as unconstitutional and illegal under Israeli law, and appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel, which deferred a decision on the case.
Ahead of Israel's 2003 elections, several right-wing politicians, including the heads of the National Union and National Religious Party, sought to have Tibi banned from holding Knesset office; the official motion to disqualify Tibi's candidacy was filed by Likud MK Michael Eitan. Eitan argued that Tibi has supported Palestinian terror throughout the intifada and served as an adviser to [PA Chairman] Yasser Arafat. He additionally asserted that since being elected to the Knesset, Tibi exploited his immunity to promote Palestinian and Arafat's interests. He further maintained that throughout his Knesset career, Tibi was involved in anti-Israeli activities, including the expression of solidarity with Israel's enemies, incitement and sedition. Eitan's proposal passed in the Israeli Central Elections Committee by one vote.
However, the Supreme Court of Israel rejected the Committee's arguments and overturned the ban unanimously, and Tibi was elected as part of a joint list of Ta'al and Hadash. Before the 2006 elections, Tibi took his Ta'al party out of the Hadash coalition and joined the United Arab List. After retaining his seat he became a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He was re-elected on the joint UAL–Ta'al list in the 2009 elections.
In 2008, he called rioting Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territories "two-legged animals". In 2002, he called Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz a "fascist who is responsible for murder", and signed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the removal of bodies by the IDF during the Battle of Jenin. However, Tibi is also known for having pronounced a moving speech to commemorate Holocaust Day in 2010 at the Israeli Knesset. Yair Lapid reported on Israel's Channel 2 : "Knesset elders claim that it might have been the best speech ever given in the Israeli Parliament".
On 9 January 2012 PA television aired a speech by Ahmad Tibi in which he is quoted saying: "The Shahid is the symbol of the homeland… Greetings to the thousands of Shahids in the homeland and elsewhere, and greetings to our Shahids and yours, within the Green Line – those whom the occupation would want to be referred to as terrorists, but we say that there is nothing more exalted than those who have died for the sake of the homeland. That occupier is the real terrorist and in Israel he is considered a hero or a cabinet minister." The Knesset Ethics Committee issued a reprimand against him. Tibi replied that the "shahids" in his speech did not kill anyone and that he has always spoken out against attacks on civilians. He said, “In the Israeli media, the word shaheed is used to mean a terrorist. A martyr is not a terrorist, but a victim who died for his land. That is who I praised.”
- "Citing Disloyalty, Knesset Bans Main Arab Parties From Elections"Forward.
- Movement Restrictions on MK Dr. Al-Tibi Arab Association for Human Rights, 2 June 2002
- Court delays ruling on Tibi petition over travel limitations Haaretz, 3 November 2002
- Eitan to propose nixing Tibi's Knesset bid Haaretz, 2002
- Poll ban on Arab Israelis lifted BBC News, 9 January 2003
- Davidovich-Weissberg, Daniela (November 13, 2012). "Consumer Right Revolutions Passed in the Current Knesset and Those Waiting in the Next". TheMarker. Retrieved January 5, 2012. (Hebrew)
- Ahmed Tibi interview with Yair Lapid
- Ahmad Tibi on the Knesset website
- Q&A with Ta'al MK Ahmed Tibi Haaretz, 2 September 2003
- A double identity The Jerusalem Post, 21 April 2008
- Lecture given at the Palestine Center, "The Future of Palestinian-Israeli Negotiations: Is Peace Still Possible?" Transcripts available: