How do Jews and Palestinians speak to each other?

An intriguing Israeli episode that reveals the deep divide between Jews and the rest and the ways in which Zionist chauvanism is never far from the surface:

Two days after he was removed from a Channel 1 studio at the behest of Erev Hadash host Dan Margalit, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) fanned the flames on Saturday, saying Israeli press has “enlisted” in its support of the defense establishment.

Zahalka, who succeeded Azmi Bishara as chairman of the staunchly anti-Zionist party, accused the media of running an “incitement campaign” against him, and said Balad would continue to work to reveal “the war crimes of Israel, whose hands are dipped in children’s blood.”

“The Israeli media is enlisted and has surrendered [to the state],” he said.

On Thursday, Zahalka was removed from the set of the program after he and Margalit engaged in heated verbal sparring after Zahalka accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of listening to classical music while children were being killed in Gaza.

After Margalit responded by calling Zahalka “cheeky,” Zahalka backtracked a bit, saying that it was widely known that the defense minister enjoys classical music and had killed 1,400 children.

Margalit then told Zahalka, repeatedly, to “get out of here,” which the Balad chairman unwillingly did, while responding that the veteran journalist was “a nothing, a servant of prime ministers, and lacking a conscience.”

The verbal spat continued after Zahalka left the set, with the MK yelling that the studio in Tel Aviv’s northern Ramat Aviv neighborhood was itself on occupied land, and Margalit responding, on camera, that “that’s just the point. You want to conquer here as well.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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