MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) exploded with rage on the Knesset podium Monday, in a debate regarding the proposed deal for developing offshore gas, but his surprising target was the Labor party – which opposes the gas deal, as his faction does – and specifically MK Stav Shaffir.
Zahalka's tirade appeared to have been triggered by the fact that his party came under criticism from Jewish leftists, for allegedly caring only about sectoral interests, and considering voting in favor of the gas deal if their sector receives benefits from the government.
He singled out Shaffir and accused her of being a snob who never answers him when he greets her. “Since you came to the Knesset, you never spoke to me! You never told me hello. I try and try to say hello and you do not answer! Racist! The extreme right are at least human beings, they smile at you and say hello. Even Yisrael Beytenu MKs smile to us. But the members of the Labor party are the mother and father of racism! You invented racism!"
In a rant that is sure to become a classic video for nationalists, he went on: "The ones who took our land, who expelled us, are not the ones who say 'death to the Arabs!' They are the ones who told us 'We have brought peace upon you!' For shame! The engineers of racism, the engineers of expropriation, of expulsion. Shame on you. This is the Left? I know what racism is. There is a way to be racist – there is also the arrogance of the Ashkenazim, the rich ones, the spoiled ones.”
“The right wingers are much better than you,” he stormed. “The Likud established the settlements alongside Arab villages,” he said, to the merriment of nationalists. “But Labor established its kibbutzim atop the ruins of Arab villages! Give us back our land!”
Zahalka pulled no stops and said that the leftists “urinate from above” on the Arabs.
The embarrassed Shaffir denied never greeting Zahalka and accused him of being a liar when he said the same thing about her. She got up to speak but said that she would not reply to Zahalka at this point, and preferred instead to say a few sentences about the gas deal.