St Petersburg/Kuwait City/Ankara: Kuwait’s parliament speaker on Wednesday reacted furiously to an Israeli parliament representative’s comments on imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers at an international conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, Kuwait’s news agency, KUNA, reported.
“The saying ‘if you have no shame do as you please’ applies to the comments made by this rapist (Israeli) parliament,” National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al Ghanem told lawmakers gathered at Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) talks in Russia.
The video of Al Ghanem’s outburst has gone viral online. Over the next 12 hours, the 45-second video was retweeted tens of thousands of times and received hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook.
During a discussion about the condition of Palestinian lawmakers arrested by Israeli authorities, Al Ghanem said that this “represented the most dangerous types of terrorism – the terrorism of the state”.
“You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honourable parliament around the world,” he said, addressing the Israeli delegation.
“Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children", he is seen as saying in video as others present clapped.
Earlier at the five-day conference, Shai, deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset (parliament), had vocally objected to a report documenting -- and heavily criticizing -- Israel’s policy of arresting Palestinian lawmakers.
According to Palestinian figures, a total of 13 Palestinian MPs -- mostly from Gaza-based Hamas -- are currently languishing in Israeli prisons.
Al Ghanem outburst against Israel was in response to the Israeli delegation's objection to the report, which was prepared and presented by the IPU’s human rights committee.
Immediately after the Kuwaiti parliamentarian spoke, the Israeli delegation exited the conference hall.
Harsh criticisms publicly leveled at Israel by Al Ghanem have drawn wide praise on Arab social media, with many commentators saying such criticisms were long overdue, according to Anadolu Agency.
“Al-Ghanim’s courageous words at the APU summit were indeed historic,” Istanbul-based Palestinian writer Said al-Hajj tweeted.
“Real men always rise to the occasion; thank you, Marzouq al-Ghanim", he added.
Prominent Egyptian writer Mohammed al-Gawadi, for his part, tweeted: “Al-Ghanim delivered a message to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that he [Netanyahu] is deluding himself when he talks about normalizing relations with the Arab world.”
The IPU was established in 1889 as a global inter-parliamentary institution. Its members currently include members drawn from 173 legislative assemblies around the world.
Aside from Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace deals with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively, no Arab states currently maintain formal relations with the Jewish state.