In Israel's Knesset, Arab MP raises symbol of Palestine

Ghattas said the gesture was directed at Arab school children who, he noted, "are frequently attacked for wearing keffiyehs."

In Israel's Knesset, Arab MP raises symbol of Palestine

World Bulletin/News Desk

Arab lawmaker Basel Ghattas donned a keffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian headdress, at a Wednesday session of the Knesset (Israel's parliament), during which he questioned an Israeli cabinet minister over the recent killing of a young Palestinian man.

Taking the podiumata televised plenary Knesset session, Ghattas said the gesture was directed at Arab school children who, he noted, "are frequently attacked for wearing keffiyehs."

Ghattas grilled Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich about the alleged link between recent comments made by the latter – that "terrorists should be killed" – and the fatal shooting by Israeli police earlier this month of 22-year-old Palestinian Kheir al-Din Hamdan in northern Israel's town of Kafr Kana.

He then asked Aharonovich if he had considered resigning, to which the latter replied: "Your question is not worthy of a response, but I will nonetheless say that I have no intention of resigning, although it upsets you."

Ghattas' gesture of Palestinian solidarity dismayed right-wing MP Miri Regev, who protested his taking the podium while wearing the Keffiyeh.

Ghattas, for his part, placed his hand on the Keffiyeh on his shoulder and asked Regev, smiling: "Is it bothering you?"

Regevlater asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein if the assembly's bylaws allowed MPs to mount the podium with a Keffiyeh on, but Edelstein said there were no rules forcing Ghattas to remove the Keffiyeh or step down from the podium.

The Keffiyeh, a black-and-white checkered shawl, is internationally known as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

 

Last Mod: 12 Kasım 2014, 17:50
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