MK Zahalka won't be returning to Knesset

MK Jamal Zahalka will not run for next Knesset. MK Miki Zohar responds: 'We're all happy and joyous.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Flash 90

MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List) will not run in elections for the next Knesset and is expected to announce officially sometime today in a speech to be delivered in the Knesset plenum.

MK Miki Zohar (Likud), who heard about Zahalka's decision, said in response, "We are all happy and joyous; and we're all pleased that you're not staying in the Knesset."

Balad party Chairman Zahalka decided to resign from politics apparently because of party statutes stating that Knesset Members may serve only four terms. Zahalka believes he will find it difficult to bypass the rules and therefore prefers announcing resignation.

Zahalka frequently yells at MKs from the national camp who promote laws in favor of settling Judea and Samaria or laws that according to Zahalka could harm the Arab public.

Last month Zahalka was angered by the Muezzin Law and shouted, "You're racists and fascists, you're only looking for death." MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home), who initiated the Muezzin Law, replied, "Hey terrorist, go to parliament in Syria."

In September 2015, Zahalka had a falling out with MK Stav Shaffir and the Labor Party: "You're the father and mother of racism. You dispossessed lands to build kibbutzim. The movement that expelled the Palestinians from their land, that robbed us much more than the Right did, who murdered tens of thousands of Palestinians, and they come to preach to us."

"Social justice woman Knesset Member Stav Shaffir who hasn't spoken to me for a long time and doesn't even say hello to me - I'm transparent to her; the Arabs don't exist. Racist, quiet racist, disregarding racist. You never spoke to me in the Knesset, 'Shalom' you wouldn't answer me. I try with all my might to say hello and you don't answer - racist," he said.