Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker slams Israel as killers of children, kicks its delegate out of IPU
Harsh criticism publicly leveled at Israel by Kuwait’s parliament speaker at a high-profile meeting in St. Petersburg have drawn wide praise on Arab social media, with many commentators saying such criticisms were long overdue.
At the conclusion of a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which wrapped up Wednesday evening in St. Petersburg, Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim slammed Nachman Shai, the head of an Israeli delegation.
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.
The Israeli delegation’s objection to the report, which was prepared and presented by the IPU’s human rights committee, was met by anger from al-Ghanim, who responded by calling Shai an “occupier” and “child killer”, according to Kuwait’s state news agency.
“The words uttered by this rapacious country’s ( Israel’s) representative bring to mind the well-known proverb: ‘If you have no shame, do what you want’,” al-Ghanim said.
He also said Shai and his delegation represented “the world’s most dangerous kind of terrorism – state terrorism”.
Surprising many fellow attendees, he went on to tell Shai: “You should pack your bags and leave this chamber after seeing the reaction [to Israeli actions] from the honorable parliaments of the world.”
Immediately after the Kuwaiti parliamentarian spoke, the Israeli delegation exited the conference hall.
Over the next 12 hours, video of al-Ghanim’s 45-second tirade was retweeted tens of thousands of times and received hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook.
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