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Arab MK: Tel Aviv is the Arab Village of Sheikh Munis!

A rancorous TV interview last week with an Arab MK that revealed his apparent desires to conquer Tel Aviv continues to make waves.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/3/2010, 3:32 PM / Last Update: 1/3/2010, 3:38 PM

A rancorous TV interview last week with an Arab Knesset Member that revealed his apparent desires to conquer Tel Aviv continues to make waves. Arutz Sheva's Hebrew site entitled its article on the topic, "The Israeli interviewer who did not forget that he is Jewish."

The broadcast occurred on Thursday night, on the Erev Chadash (New Evening) program hosted by veteran broadcaster Dan Margalit and his younger co-host Ronen Bergman, and broadcast on Channel 1 and 23. Arab MK Jamal Zehalka (Balad) was their guest, and the discussion centered around that morning’s Arab protest against Israel. One Arab MK at the protest, Taleb A-Sana, used his cell phone to broadcast a live address to the rally by Hamas terrorist chief executive Ismail Haniye. Zehalka, for his part, said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak likes to listen to classical music and kill children, comparing him to a Nazi.

Hebrew video:

Zehalka told his interviewers that there is a “lack of knowledge among Israelis about the terrible situation in Gaza, and there is nothing wrong with Haniye expressing his opinion to the Israeli public.”


Also 'Palestine'? Tel Aviv. / Photo: Flash 90

Bergman said, “He is the head of a terrorist organization that is at war with Israel, and you give him a platform to speak. You don’t see how this is perceived here?” Zehalka responded that it was good for Haniye’s voice to be heard. At this point, Margalit said, “I don’t think there is such a humanitarian crisis in Gaza as you think there is, though that’s not the point--”

Zehalka: “I can bring you examples from the UN report.”

Margalit: “Come on, who believes the UN? The UN is an arm of - look at the Goldstone report.”

Zehalka: “OK, so you believe the Israeli generals?”

Margalit: “I don’t have to believe anyone. I was in Sderot myself for three years and I saw the Kassam rockets that came flying over there, courtesy of Haniye and his friends, well before Israel carried out any military campaign. So come on. But that’s not the point; the point is that Hamas is an enemy, and you, as Knesset Members, apparently couldn’t care less…

Bergman: “Why don’t you protest against Egypt? If they would open their blockade of Gaza in Rafiach, there would be no humanitarian crisis there!”

Zehalka: “I support the Egyptian opposition’s protest against their government” [evoking sarcastic laughter by the interviewers] … We want to stop the suffering in Gaza, one must be totally obtuse in order not to see this.”

Margalit: "Not quite; Hamas has fired 8,000 rockets…"

Zehalka: “There were 1,400 dead Arabs and 400 children [in Cast Lead] [sic].”

Margalit: “Because Hamas fired rockets…”

Zehalka: “Ehud Barak listens to classical music and kills children!”

Margalit: “Yes, we’ve heard that, we’ve heard that. What chutzpah (gall, nerve -- ed.) it takes to talk that way.”

Zehalka: “No, the chutzpah is the killing. Don’t say it is nerve.”

Margalit: “It is chutzpah.”

Zehalka (yelling): “Don’t you say chutzpah!”

Margalit: “I’ll say what I want, I don’t live in your [type of] country, I live in a democracy.”

Zehalka (yelling): “You talk as if you’re in the marketplace!”

Margalit: “I talk that way? You say that Barak is a murderer! You are chatzuf [cheeky, rude, disrespectful, from the same root as the Hebrew word chutzpah]!”

Zehalka (yelling): “Don’t call me chatzuf!”

Margalit: “You’re chatzuf!”

Zehalka: “Don’t call me chatzuf!”

Margalit: “You’re chatzuf!”

Zehalka: “Oh yeah? You’re a zero!”

Margalit: “Oh? OK, now you’ve convinced me.”

Zehalka: “You’re a zero! You’re a mouthpiece for all the prime ministers, and you’re a court reporter! You’re a court reporter!”

Margalit: “Yes, OK, Zehalka, you’re right, now get out of here. You don’t care about all the Kassams, now get out of here.”

After another round or two of mutual insults, when it appeared that Zehalka had finally left, Margalit had trouble calming down, and said, “You saw that chatzuf? He says that Barak is a child murderer!”

Zehalka’s voice is heard from offstage: “Don’t say chatzuf!”

Margalit: “Get out of here already!”

Zehalka: “Don’t say chatzuf! Don’t say get out of here already!”

Margalit: “Can you let me work, please?” (The next interviewee had already arrived)

Zehalka [still yelling from offstage]: “This is Sheikh Munis here!” (referring to a former Arab village on the ruins of which northern Tel Aviv -- including the television studio -- was built)

Margalit [banging on the table]: “Aaah, now we see what you really want!  Now it’s clear! You want to conquer this from us too! Now we see the truth!”

Zehalka: “No, we want to live together! I was born here, you are an immigrant!”

Margalit:”Oh, I’m an immigrant?” (Margalit was born in Tel Aviv in 1938)

Old Tactic - But Who's the Real Immigrant
Accusing the Jews of immigrating to Israel is an old Arab tactic – yet, as documented by several works, including "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters, most of the Arab populace that today occupies the Holy Land is itself made up of immigrants from various Arab countries. Many of them arrived over the course of the decades that preceded the formation of the State of Israel -- largely attracted by the economic growth and opportunities engendered by the area's growing Jewish presence.

A leading member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Zuheir Muhsin, said in March 1977, "Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel...

Assaf Wohl, writing in the Judaism section of Ynet on Saturday night, noted, “Do they [the Arab MKs who accuse Jews of immigrating] believe that the ‘Palestinians,’ whose name no one ever heard until the 20th century, really grew from this land? People who don’t even know how to pronounce their own supposed name, seeing as it has a P [Arabic does not have that sound]? Don’t they know that under the Arab villages in the Galilee are synagogues from the Second Temple Period? Don’t they know that at the end of the 19th century, there were only 140,000 non-Jews in the Land of Israel – 25% of them recent immigrants? And then in 1948, their number was more than 10 times higher, almost exclusively because of Arab immigration to the Land of Israel.”

Relevant Bill
Coincidentally, the ministerial committee for legislation is set to vote this afternoon on a bill that will require Knesset Members to swear allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state. MK David Rotem (Israel Our Home), who sponsored the bill, explained, “Whoever heard what the Arab MKs A-Sana and Zehalka said over the past few days, besmirching the Defense Minister and even allowing Israel’s enemy to speak to the public via a cell phone that belongs to the Knesset and the State, understands intuitively that we have to take action to ensure that the MKs are loyal to the State.”