German European Parliament President Martin Schulz caused an uproar during his address to the Knesset today because of remarks he made about conditions in occupied Palestine.
It appears some Israeli MKs are unaware of the gross discrepancies between water allocations in the areas under their purview. Haaretz reports EU President Schulz was accused of “blatant” and “lying propaganda“, “selective hearing” as well as incitement “against Jews” during a session in the Knesset today when he repeated a question from a Palestinian youth alluding water usage in Israel was several times that of occupied Palestine and questioned if it was true:
“A Palestinian youth asked me why an Israeli can use 70 cubic liters of water and a Palestinian just 17,” he said. “I haven’t checked the data. I’m asking you if this is correct.”
This claim came as a surprise and shock to some members of the Knesset! Indignant, Habayit Hayehudi [Jewish Home] party leader Naftali Bennet demanded an apology and walked out with his party’s MKs in tow.
MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) called to Schulz: “Shame on you, you support someone who is inciting against Jews.”
“The comments made in the Knesset are very serious,” said party chairman Naftali Bennett. “Habayit Hayehudi demands an apology from the president of the European Parliament, who said two lies in his speech, which Palestinians fed him. Silence in the face of lying propaganda grants legitimacy to activities against Israeli citizens.”
MK Itzik Shmuli of Labor has filed a complaint to the Knesset’s ethics committee, saying the walkout was “in contempt of the Knesset.” Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On said she objected to the damage done to the Knesset as an institution.
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, of Likud, supported the walkout.
“Give him all due respect, but the president of the [European] Parliament stands here and says a blatant lie as though Israelis have the right to use 70 cubic liters of water and the Palestinians 17 cubic liters,” she said.
Netanyahu accused the EU President of “selective hearing”. German press website DW reported Bennett immediately took to his Facebook page:
“I will not tolerate duplicitous propaganda against Israel in the Knesset … and especially not in German.”
And Likud MK Moshe Feiglin also took to facebook expressing his refusal to attend the speech altogether stating it was “inappropriate” to give a speech in German at the Knesset because:
“the language used when our parents were thrust into the railway wagons and in the crematoria.”
More from DW:
In his speech, Schulz also said “the Palestinians have the right to self-determination and equality,” and that they want to “live in peace and have unlimited freedom of movement,” which he said they are denied in Gaza.
Shortly before his Knesset speech, Schulz had complained of sensitivity in Israel against criticism from Europe. “Mutual criticism is quite normal in a democracy,” he told Israeli journalists. “The EU stands by its special relationship with Israel, but that does not mean that it has to agree with every decision of the Israeli government,” stressed Schulz.