Arab MPs heckle Canada PM at Israel Knesset

Arab MPs heckle Canada PM at Israel Knesset
Tue Jan 21, 2014 09:37:53

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been shouted down by Arab lawmakers during a speech at the Israeli Knesset (parliament).

Arab Israeli MP Ahmed Tibi hurled mostly inaudible comments at Harper before walking out with another lawmaker as the Canadian premier delivered a 20-minute speech which was markedly pro-Israel on his first-ever visit to the occupied lands.

"We refuse to single out Israel for criticism on the international stage," Harper said, lashing out at the international community for criticizing Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, particularly over settlement construction.

"As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel," he said, decrying the shunning of academics.

"Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state," he said, at which point Tibi yelled out "Settlements!"

Israel's ongoing announcements of new construction on land seized during the 1967 Six Day War has drawn the ire of Palestinians, the European Union and the United States as Washington tries to coax the two sides towards an elusive peace deal.
Canada has remained firmly supportive of the Zionist regime in its foreign policy, and was one of the few countries that opposed a successful Palestinian bid for upgraded status at the United Nations in 2012.

Arab Israelis are Palestinians who remained after Israel was founded in 1948, along with their descendants they now make up some 20 percent of the population.

They are currently represented by 12 of the 120 Knesset members.