“In any normal country, you’d be thrown out,” Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) told Arab MKs on Wednesday.
Ariel had an exchange of words with Arab MKs who chose to heckle him during a discussion in the Knesset regarding the Western Wall.
“I, who ascend the Temple Mount with the approval of the rabbis with whom I work, don’t enter Al-Aqsa,” he said, adding, “Why do I not enter? Because you (the Arabs -ed.) do not allow it. You have the chutzpah to threaten riots if Jews enter the Temple Mount. You are in the State of Israel and threaten to start riots.”
Ariel continued and referred to Sheikh Raed Salah, who was sentenced on Tuesday for an eight-month prison term for incitement to violence.
“If I were in charge, he’d receive eight years, but the court was considerate of him and gave him eight months,” said Ariel, and as Arab MKs continued to shout at him, added, “I know, I know, the courts mean nothing to you. The Knesset is nothing to you. Let me tell you, you are nothing of nothing!”
“Anyone who says that [Salah] doesn’t deserve a prison sentence in essence says that the court has no authority. The court decided to send him to prison and it’s a good thing it did,” said Ariel.
“The Prime Minister, in his speech at AIPAC yesterday, noted our connection to Jerusalem,” he continued. “He mentioned King David, he mentioned what is written in the Tanakh about our obligations.”
Turning to Abu-Arar, Ariel said, “You who talk about the Western Wall, a remnant of the Holy Temple, you describe it as a wall that 'happens' to be there. How dare you have the chutzpah? When hearing you, I understand why [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman says what he says (about there being pro-Hamas MKs).”
“And then, your friend MK Mohammed Barakeh says that ‘There’s no Hamas here, except for one person.’ And who’s that Hamas member he found? Me,” said Ariel with a smile, adding mockingly, “I’ve been given the ‘privilege’ of being described by ‘Professor' Barakeh as a Hamas member.”
“Let me tell you,” Ariel told Barakeh, who heckled him, “In a normal place you’d be thrown out. But Jews are forgiving people. A person like you, who’d tell me, a government minister, that I’m a Hamas member, would be thrown out immediately. You will not speak this way to a minister. You should shut up and get out of here. We’re getting along fine without you.”
Ariel concluded, “I think we could get along fine without the Arab MKs but what can we do, they’re here.”