The Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to the UK admitted recently that he had in the past hit an Israeli over falafel.
The envoy, Manuel Hassassian, said the incident occurred during his student days in Ohio. At the time, he recalled, he assaulted an Israeli student who manned a booth in which falafel and hummus were presented as Israeli food.
The interview aired on the Lebanese Al-Quds TV channel on October 25 and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"I said to him: How dare you? You have robbed me of my land... and now you are stealing my folklore and my food, claiming that this is your Jewish food? This is our food, the food of the Palestinian people, I won’t allow this," Hassassian said he told the Israeli student.
“He was insolent, of course, and I was a hot-headed 20-year-old, so I grabbed him and hit him,” he continued. “The security came, of course. You know, in the U.S., they call this an assault. Ultimately, the officer grabbed me and took me away, because I had beaten him up. They asked me why I did it, and when I told them, they said: ‘Palestine should be proud of you’, and they released me.”
He also said that “there is no temple and there is nothing Jewish in Palestine”, claiming that Israelis have imposed a reality in which they created the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem and sent “settlers” to live in the city.
The show also included a skit in which an actor played a character who said that he hated the word "four" as it reminded him of "that lowlife British Zionist Balfour", according to MEMRI – a reference to Lord Arthur Balfour, who as British Foreign Secretary issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine.
Palestinian Arab organizations have been waging a campaign aimed at forcing Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah recently demanded not just a British apology for the document, but also compensation.
The British government has refused to apologize.