MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) fired back Tuesday at MK Jamal Zahalka of the Arab United List, one day after he accused her and her Labor colleagues of being racists who “urniate” upon the Arabs.
At the start of the Knesset's Transparency Committee session, Shaffir said: “MK Jamal Zahalka attacked me yesterday in the plenum for matters that are supposedly personal – am I nice or not, do I say hello in the hallway or not – but the real reason that led to this attack was really not my niceness, but his anger over the fact that I tried to expose the political deal that Netanyahu offered the Joint List, behind the back of the public – a political blackmail deal that is unacceptable.”
"If money is offered to a politicial in exchange for a vote, or abstention from a vote in the Knesset, that will affect our life in Israel – the public deserves to know about it,” she stated. “And each time I call for these deals to be exposed, I have to absorb very personal atacks as an attempt to evade the criticism and its essence.”
"There is no place for that. My job is not to be nice, but to make sure that governance is proper and to protect public funds from corruption,” she added.
"The fact that the Knesset is run this way, that everything is a result of deal of one kind or another and not the result of serious decisions and ideology, is something that should no longer exist in 2015,” Shaffir added. She said according to an opinion published by the Attorney General, all political deals signed by the government must be exposed to the public, and any transfer of funds that results from these deals must appear clearly in the state budget.
"I will not yield on this matter,” she insisted, “no matter how many attacks I have to absorb as a result.”
'You never said hello'
Zahalka had 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 has 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!”