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Arab MK Warns: 'Palestine' Jews 'Won't be Loyal Citizens'

Netanyahu's apparent bluff works brilliantly, as MK Zahalka explains why 'Palestine' cannot accept Jewish citizens.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/27/2014, 1:27 PM

Zahalka (right) in the Knesset
Zahalka (right) in the Knesset
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's bluff regarding the idea of leaving the Jews of Judea and Samaria inside a future state of “Palestine” – assuming it was a bluff, as sources in Netanyahu's bureau claim – appears to be working brilliantly in exposing Palestinian hypocrisy.

According to Dani Dayan, the chief foreign envoy for the Yesha Council – a Judea and Samaria leadership forum – MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) spoke on Haifa Radio Monday morning and rejected Netanyahu's suggested solution – explaining that Jewish setlers who live inside “Palestine” will not be loyal citizens in the new Arab state.

Dayan calls Zahalka's statement “the definition of hypocrisy.”

Dayan did not spell out the reason for this statement, because Israeli citizens are already well acquainted with the antics of Zahalka and his fellow Arab Members of Knesset, and realize that they are the last ones who can speak honestly about loyalty to their state.

Here are some of Zahalka's accomplishments as a member of Israel's Knesset:

Immediately after former prime minister Ariel Sharon died, Zahalka said that he should be put on trial posthumously for war crimes, in order “to make an example out of him.”

In November, MK Zevulun Kalfa (Jewish Home) filed a complaint with the Knesset’s Ethics Committee against Zahalka after Zahalka allegedly physically and verbally attacked him during a stormy debate at the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee. The debate degenerated into a shouting match as Arab Knesset Members used threatening words and aggressive body language to disrupt the meeting. Zahalka called Kalfa a “fascist, racist, settler, occupier” and then reportedly proceeded to try and physically push him out of the room. Knesset ushers prevented him from doing so. 

Last August, Zahalka was involved in a heated exchange between Jewish and Arab MKs in the plenum, regarding the idea of a national referendum on possible concessions to the PA. When MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) shouted at Zahalka that “the Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel,” Zahalka replied: "We were here before you. I was here before you. And we will be here after you! So stop dreaming.”

Hearing this, Prime Minister Netanyahu went up to the podium and replied: “You said, 'We were here before you... and we will be here after you.' The first part is not true. And the second part will not happen.” With that, Netanyahu strode off from the podium, leaving the Knesset speaker to restrain MKs from the applause that they spontaneously engaged in. 

On other occasions, Zahalka said Jews were enemies of peacerefused to condemn a terrorist's stabbing of a father of five, denounced Israeli “apartheid” during a visit abroad, counseled PA politicians on ways of “taking advantage” of Israel, and traveled to India in an effort to undermine Israel's ties with that country – all within the space of less than four years.

While most nationalist reactions to Netanyahu's idea were intensely hostile, veteran activist and resident of Samaria (Shomron) David Ha'ivri thought Netanyahu was indeed bluffing.

"I don't like his policies," wrote Ha'ivri on Facebook, "but, I must admit that Bibi Netanyahu is a brilliant politician, he calls everyone's bluff and walks on leaving them gasping for air."