Harper’s Heckler a Hero to Canadian Left

Scott wrote on Tuesday about Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s inspiring appearance before Israel’s Knesset. Of course, one man’s inspiration is another man’s aggravation, and it turns out that Harper was vigorously heckled by an Arab MK named Ahmed Tibi:

During a portion of Harper’s address when he spoke against boycotts of Israel, Tibi shouted in English: “Don’t mislead; we want to boycott settlements.”

When Harper spoke about Israel not being an apartheid state and called condemnation of Israel “the face of the new anti-Semitism,” Tibi pointed at the coalition’s side of the plenum, shouting “That’s where the Likud sits; you should be there,” and then he and Beduin MK Taleb Abu Arar (UAL) demonstratively walked out.

That isn’t what I would consider high-level repartee, but the sad part of this story is that it made Tibi a hero among Canadian liberals:

MK Ahmed Tibi became an overnight celebrity in Canada this week after he heckled Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his address to the Knesset.

Since heckling Harper on Monday, Tibi has given 15 interviews to Canadian media outlets and has been invited to speak at universities in multiple provinces.

Tibi said he would go to Canada in the spring to lecture and give more interviews.

“I wanted to hurt Harper in Canada because of his pro-Israel policies, and I think I succeeded,” Tibi said. …

Tibi’s Twitter feed was full of support from Canadians who oppose Harper and Israel.

Too bad that Tibi won’t do his Canadian lecture tour until the spring. I think right about now would be a good time for him to spread his venom at Canadian universities.

This part of the story is entertaining, however–Benjamin Netanyahu got into the act, refuting another of Tibi’s claims:

Netanyahu’s speech before Harper’s at the Knesset was also heckled by Tibi, who shouted that Abu Arar had no electricity and water in his village.

Netanyahu then posted a picture of Abu Arar’s three-story home on his Facebook page with proof that it has both electricity and water. Tibi responded on Netanyahu’s Facebook page that posting the picture was childish and intended to hide Israel’s embarrassment over the state of unrecognized Beduin villages.

Which exemplifies the intimacy of political conflict in a tiny country.


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