A meeting at Israel’s Knesset Wednesday turned heated after Arab Israeli MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) declared that Israeli Jews are an “enemy of peace.”
The issued stemmed from comments made by Zahalka during a debate on the referendum bill aimed to ensure Israelis will have a right to vote on any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.Zahalka said that the bill was irrelevant because it referred to “occupied territory, and as such, what applies is international law; the referendum should apply to the nations of the world.”
The comment was jeered at by MKs in the Knesset, to which Zahalka responded: “You’re an enemy of peace. We were here before you, and we’ll be here after you.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was present at the debate, but had not planned to speak, shot back, “The first part is wrong – and the second part will not happen.”
The rebuke earned applause from the Knesset floor.
On Wednesday night, the Knesset approved the referendum bill by a vote of 66 to 45, with no abstentions. The bill must still pass two more readings in the Knesset before it becomes law.
Watch a video of the incident below: