As a Channel Two reporter was presenting a story about the dearth of tourism in Nazareth in recent days, the mayor of the city, Ali Salam, was seen shouting at the head of the United Arab List, Ayman Odeh, accusing him of “ruining” the city.
The unusual ad-lib exchange took place in full view of the cameras as Channel Two reporter Roni Buzaglo reported on how Israeli Jews had in recent days avoided the city, leaving restaurants, markets, and shops nearly empty. The unrest throughout Israel, in which dozens of stabbings and rock attacks have taken place in recent weeks, has caused a dearth of traffic in public places throughout the country, and has badly hurt the economy of Israeli Arab-owned businesses in Nazareth, Jaffa, Ramle, and other areas with large Arab populations.
Salam, frustrated with the situation, spotted Odeh speaking to the Channel Two reporter – and in the midst of the interview, began screaming at the MK in Arabic, telling him how he had “ruined this city, ruined everything. We did not have even one Jew here today, not one.
“What are giving interviews for? You have done nothing! You have destroyed the world! Get Out of here!,” screamed Salam, venting his frustration.
Earlier, the mayor told Army Radio that “this cannot go on. We must find a way to live together. We are all only hurting ourselves. The leaders are destroying coexistence, which is our future.”
United Arab List MKs have been in the forefront of inciting Arabs to riot and attack Jews, according to many Israeli leaders. Last week, UAL MK Hanin Zoabi said that Arab "resistance" to Jewish activity on the Temple Mount will continue, while also hinting that Israel's policies paralleled the Nazi regime.
"It's rude and bullying to compare the demand to defend Muslims' right to pray at their holy sight to the Nazi regime. Everyone knows who is closer to the Nazi regime - MK Hanin Zoabi or the State of Israel and Minister [Ze'ev] Elkin," Zoabi told Army Radio. “Every time there is an invasion - and this is an invasion and not a right - of settlers, extremists and police, there will be resistance."
Meanwhile, MK Jamal Zahalka recently harassed police who were allowing Jewish visitors to visit the Temple Mount, going on a rant against police and Israeli officials. "Why do you allow them in?" Zahalka shouts at police officers. "The hell with them, it's just a provocation to hurt the feelings of Muslims. You are criminals, lunatics!" he continues. "You are here in our place [i.e. Muslims - ed.], this is my home."
In response, Likud MK David Bitan is planning to introduce legislation that would impose fines of hundreds of thousands of shekels on MKs who incite to violence.
MK Bitan said that “the statements and actions of some Arab MKs, such as Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi, cannot be allowed to continue. I intend to deal with all those who incite to violence and against the state, by increasing the sanctions against MKs who undertake these activities, especially those from the United Arab List.
“I intend to insert these new regulations to the Knesset Code of Ethics, which under currently under revision,” said Bitan. This is the first time that such fines will be imposed on MKs who incite to violence.” Bitan added that he would also demand that the Attorney General open an investigation against Zoabi and Zahalka for their recent activities. “I expect police to make a thorough and quick investigation.”
On Sunday night, Odeh condemned the stabbings in Gan Shmuel, near Hadera – the first condemnation by the head of the United Arab List of an attack during the recent terror wave. “The fact that some of the victims were children is heartbreaking,” he said. “We are in this situation because of a terrible and evil regime. The government, and especially the individual leading it, is directly responsible for the current situation. We will continue to fight for justice in order to bring peace to both nations that live side by side in Israel.”