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Knesset Member Meets Ahmadinejad in Brazil

MK Carmel Shama of Likud had a surprise encounter with Iran’s president, who said 'hello' and smiled.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/21/2012, 7:42 PM

MK Carmel Shama HaCohen
MK Carmel Shama HaCohen
Knesset

MK Carmel Shama had an unexpected encounter this week as he visited Brazil as part of Israel’s delegation to the Earth Summit. The Likud MK, who supports Jewish building in Judea and Samaria and a boycott on Iran, found himself face to face with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

MK Shama recalled the encounter on his Facebook page. “Because of the alphabetical order of our names in English, Israel and Iran were in the same row at the conference, with just the four representatives from Ireland between us,” he recalled.

“To the surprise of the Foreign Ministry, when the ‘lunatic’ and his people got up, they deviated from their standard procedure and went directly past us instead of going around,” he continued.

“The megalomaniac from Iran went even further. Despite the sign saying ‘Israel’ on my table and the Israeli flag pin on my suit, he said ‘hello,’ nodded, and smiled,” Shama related.

Shama was unimpressed. “From up close, he looks more like a man who would sell roasted sunflower seeds than the leader of a nuclear program,” he said, adding, “Maybe that’s the danger.”

Shama was employing a pun on the Hebrew words for "sunflower seeds" (garinim) and "nuclear" (garini), which are almost identical.