Two Arab Knesset Members heckled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper until they finally stormed out of the chamber during Harper’s speech to the Knesset Monday.
The heckling started when Netanyahu spoke to Harper from the Knesset podium and called Canada a great ally. Netanyahu explained to Harper how Israel’s parliament works and that Knesset Members can scream as much as they like in the Knesset, something that “is not possible in Damascus and other places.”
MK Ahmed Tibi played right into Netanyahu’s hands and said out loud in English while pointing to his colleague MK Talab Abu-Arar, “There is no water or electricity in his village. Perhaps in Syria they have such things.”
(By the way, MK Talan Abu-Arar does have water and electricity in both his home and village).
Netanyahu, speaking in Hebrew so everyone in the Knesset would understand, said in reply, “I haven’t found that our Arab friends in Israel want to separate from the State of Israel. Everyone wants to live here.” Knesset Speaker Yule Edelstein ended the entertainment, which Harper seemed to be enjoying, by telling Tibi, “Your message is clear, You don’t have to thank anyone for your right to speak.
Switching to English and addressing Harper, Netanyahu said, “I think I have my point about Israeli democracy. That was easy.”
In his speech, Harper said that condemnation of Israel is represents a “new strain” of anti-Semitism.
“We have witnessed, in recent years, the mutation of the old disease of anti-Semitism and the emergence of a new strain,” he said,
The Arabs MKs did not wait around very long and walked out during Harper’s speech, which was so pro-Zionist one wonders if it was not written by a modern day Ben Gurion.
The Canadian Prime Minister said, “The friendship between us is rooted in history, nourished by shared values, and it is intentionally reinforced at the highest levels of commerce and government as an outward expression of strongly held inner convictions… During Canada’s mission to Afghanistan, our use of Israeli-built reconnaissance equipment saved the lives of Canadian soldiers….
We have also periodically made terrible mistakes as in the refusal of our government in the 1930s to ease the plight of Jewish refugees….
“ I would argue, support today for the Jewish state of Israel is more than a moral imperative; it is also of strategic importance, also a matter of our own, long-term interests….
“As you, Prime Minister [Netanyahu], have said, when Palestinians make peace with Israel, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations — it will be the first.
“Sadly, we have yet to reach that point….
“Canada finds it deplorable that some in the international community still question the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel.
“Our view on Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is absolute and non-negotiable.
“Second, Canada believes that Israel should be able to exercise its full rights as a UN member-state and to enjoy the full measure of its sovereignty….
“Third, we refuse to single out Israel for criticism on the international stage.
“Now I understand, in the world of diplomacy, with one, solitary, Jewish state and scores of others, it is all too easy ‘to go along to get along’ and single out Israel.
“People who would never say they hate and blame the Jews for their own failings or the problems of the world, instead declare their hatred of Israel and blame the only Jewish state for the problems of the Middle East. …
“Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state.
“Think about that.
“Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish, as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history, that is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism.