CBNNews.com - DOHA, Qatar - Israeli Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Ahmed Tibi and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials accompanying him signed in as representatives of "Palestine" at the Eighth Annual Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade in Qatar.
Tibi, who chairs the United Arab List/Ta'al party in the Knesset, led the six-member PA delegation, all of whom referred to themselves as Palestinian officials at the conference.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni led a 23-member delegation from Israel.
During the question-and-answer session following her address, Tibi asked how the foreign minister could refer to the Jewish state as a democracy.
"Israel is an apartheid state," Tibi said.
In response, Livni said Tibi himself affirmed Israeli democracy.
"The very fact that you are an Israeli Knesset member, that you are the deputy speaker of the Knesset, as a matter of fact, who represents 20 percent of Israel's population, that you are here and that you can say anything you please, that is the proof that Israel is a democratic nation," she said from the podium.
Several Israeli government officials were incensed at Tibi -- who holds Israeli citizenship -- representing himself as Palestinian.
"[Perhaps it's] time for Ahmed Tibi to decide which country he represents," said Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Majalli Whbee (Kadima).
"It is Tibi's right to stand for the country or entity of his choosing, but he cannot be a member of one nation's parliament while representing another at international conventions," he said.
Whbee plans to query the Knesset Ethics Committee as to recourse for "disciplinary and other possible implications of an Israeli MK's decision to represent a foreign entity."
Source: YNet news