Daily Israel Report

MK ‘Erases’ Disparaging Remark on Obama

An MK agreed to erase from the Knesset protocol his comment that U.S. President Barack Obama is a “paritz,” the Hebrew term for a cruel landowner.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/5/2009, 9:45 PM

Is U.S. President Barack Obama a “paritz,” the Hebrew term for cruel Polish landowners who tormented and oppressed Jews before the late 19th century?

Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union) took the podium in an almost totally empty Knesset Tuesday evening to sharply criticize the increasing pressure of the Obama government during President Shimon Peres’s visit to the United States.

Speaking at the same time that President Peres was meeting with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and shortly before the two presidents were to meet, MK Ariel referred to the American president as a ‘paritz.”

"Are we going to dance before the goyim?” MK Ariel asked rhetorically.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin told the MK that his comment was disrespectful towards President Obama, and the legislator agreed with his request to erase it from the Knesset protocol.

The four-member National Union party, headed by Ya'akov "Ketzaleh” Katz, is the only religious or nationalist faction that is not a member of the Netanyahu coalition. The party says that Netanyahu may yet keep his pre-election promise to include the National Union in the coalition.

The other national religious party, Jewish Home, is a part of the coalition, though they too are against surrendering land in Judea and Samaria for a future Arab state of "Palestine."

Shortly after the coalition was formed, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, chairman of the Labor party, ordered the demolition of a Jewish outpost.