Monday, August 10, 2009

MK Ahmed Tibi Cancels Yeshiva Appearance

This story truly borders on the bizarre.

YNET reports that MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi was supposed to speak to at Be'er Yaakov Yeshiva, but due to pressure from the Yeshiva's benefactors, the invitations to speak was rescinded.
"The Be'er Yaakov Yeshiva, one of the largest yeshivas of the Lithuanian stream, canceled at the last minute a lecture by Arab MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) due to pressure and threats from benefactors.

Tibi told Ynet that the yeshiva's educational director Rabbi David Rot called him Sunday evening to inform him of the cancellation. "He told me that the pressure was too much for him and so, he regretfully had to call off the lecture. I responded saying, 'I am sorry you are being threatened. I was willing to come and answer all your students' questions.'"

In recent weeks the MK was approached by representatives of the yeshiva on a number of occasions, asking that he speak before its students. "They spoke to my assistants," Tibi said. "At first I was hesitant, but eventually, I said yes."

He said he was told by the yeshiva that the students were eager to hear from him, despite the fact that they disagree with his opinions.

The lecture was meant to take place Tuesday afternoon, but on Sunday, an embarrassed Rot phoned Tibi and told him he was being pressure by donors to call off the lecture, or they would stop their donations to the establishment.

Tibi in response said, "While you are not my target audience, I did agree to come to hear and be heard, so it is a pity it had to end this way." (ynetnews)
However, Baruch Marzel says its Tibi who quit the speaking engagement when he learned that Baruch Marzel was also invited to speak.
"No right wing activist put on any pressure to prevent Ahmed Tibi's participation. No one cares about him, he's not even a function for us to apply pressure," added Marzel who categorically denies Tibi's claims that right wing activists pressured the yeshiva to cancel Tibi's participation.

"Apparently, he has what to be afraid of. I would have demasked him and showed his true and evil face," Marzel added, "I'm surprised that you believe Tibi's version of events. He also claims to be a Zionist".

What is factual is that a symposium, in addition to Tibi and Marzel, the Associate Director of Degel HaTorah (Aguda) Menachem Carmel and Shmuel Chaim Popenheim from the Eida Chareidit.

MK Tibi spoke to the Hareidim website this morning and said that Yeshiva Beer Yaakov cancelled his participation because of heavy pressure. "I'm pained, I wanted to come and speak openly and honestly, even though the crowd isn't my natural audience," he said. (Translated by Jameel from the Chareidim website)
Honestly, I can't decide which side is more believable at this point.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

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