World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli parliamentarian has drawn ire and ridicule after suggesting "Palestine" is a borrowed term that Palestinians themselves cannot pronounce.
"The letter P doesn't exist in Arabic, so the borrowed term Palestine is worth debating," Anat Berko from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
"There is no 'puh' sound (in Arabic)," she repeated several times.
In Arabic, the word is written with an F and is pronounced "Falesteen".
Palestinians and Arabs not fluent in English often use the letter B as a substitute for P when speaking the language.
Berko reportedly said later she was alluding to the fact the Romans referred to the region as Syria Palaestina, but her comments were ridiculed.
"Don't you have a brain?" a parliamentarian from the left-wing Meretz party asked.
Jamal Dajani, a spokesman for the Palestinian prime minister's office, said it was an attempt to "dehumanise Palestinians."
Israeli media on Thursday quoted Berko defending herself.
"The Romans called this place Palaestina," she said.
"The Palestinians who took the name borrowed it, but could not pronounce it properly. They distorted it. No one said that there is no Palestinian people."
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children
Trump administration makes request following backlash over its immigration policy
President says he will take ‘preemptive’ action to halt the actions that have drawn widespread criticism
Al-Sadr’s Sairoon bloc fails to form governing coalition with Al-Wataniya, National Wisdom Movement
Top Trump advisers arrive in Cairo after earlier stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia
Official results of May 12 elections have been dogged by controversy
Muhammed Ebu Dekka was wounded by Israeli gunfire on May 14, says Palestinian Health Ministry
Protestors march from Bryant Park to United Nations headquarters
U.S. withdrew from UN rights council, accusing it of being hypocritical and biased against Israel
New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act