An Israeli-Arab lawmaker stirred ire by appearing at a regional conference as a member of the Palestinian delegation.
Ahmed Tibi is listed as a representative of “Palestine” at the 8th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade, which ran from Sunday to Tuesday.
The Qatari conference has also been attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who met Arab leaders to promote Israel’s talks with the Palestinians and efforts to build international pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
In a call to Israel’s Army Radio, Tibi said there had been a typo on the conference’s program.
That did little to mollify the Israeli government and right-wing opposition, which called for sanctions against the United Arab List lawmaker.
Livni’s deputy, Majali Wahabe, asked the Knesset Ethics Committee to rebuke Tibi, while more hawkish lawmakers said he should be expelled to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority government.
According to one Israeli report, Tibi interrupted a speech by Livni in Doha to accuse her government of practicing “apartheid” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Livni responded that Tibi’s presence in Qatar, as an Israeli-Arab lawmaker, was proof of the Jewish state’s strength as a democracy.