An Arab Israeli lawmaker has filed a police complaint after his face was affixed to a piñata at a yeshiva in southern Israel during a Purim holiday party.
According to footage shared on social media, a cellphone-shaped effigy was lowered from the ceiling at the Sderot pre-military hesder yeshiva, with several pictures of Ahmad Tibi plastered on its front. Students proceeded to clobber the model with a pair of crutches, unleashing a torrent of small pieces of paper.
It was unclear what the effigy was meant to represent.
In response, Tibi filed an incitement complaint with the Knesset Guard, which handed it over to the Israel Police, Channel 12 reported on Tuesday.
In a statement to the network, Tibi linked the incident to comments against him by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose election campaign has singled out the Arab lawmaker by name, casting him as a threat to Israel.
“Since Netanyahu started inciting against me and since he erased [disregarded the Joint List’s] 15 seats, I have been receiving death threats and incitement,” he said.
“A few days ago there were posts with offers to murder Tibi and today, this video,” he added. “We feel the assassination of an Arab or Jewish politician is imminent.”
In a statement, the yeshiva condemned the incident, which it said was the initiative of a single student.
“It was satire, in poor taste, by a single student, and is totally at odds with the Torah-educational values of the yeshiva,” it said. “The sign was removed immediately and the incident was dealt with severely.”