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Israeli MP claims the Palestine Nation cannot exist 'because they can't pronounce the letter P'

A fellow MP responded: 'What? Did everyone hear this? Are you an idiot?'

Matt Payton
Thursday 11 February 2016 11:02 GMT
Dr Anat Berko of the centre-right Likud party
Dr Anat Berko of the centre-right Likud party (Anat Berko/YouTube)

An Israeli MP has caused outrage and bafflement by telling Israel's parliament that the Palestinian Nation doesn't exist because Arabic does not include the "P" sound.

Dr Anat Berko, a member of the ruling Likud party, said in the Knesset: "I want to go back to history, what is our place here, about Jerusalem, about Palestine, when like we said, Arabic doesn't even have 'P,' so this loan-word also merits scrutiny.

Fellow MP, Tamar Zandberg of the left-wing Meretz party retorted: "What? Did everyone hear this? Are you an idiot?"

Dr Berko responded: "These are the facts. I'll send it to you, everything's alright."

While Arabic does not include the "P" sound, Palestine in Arabic begins with a "F" and is pronounced "Falastin".

Another MP, Osama Sa'adi from the Joint Arab list left the chamber in protest, reports Haaretz.

In the same debate - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu derided Labour Party chairman Isaac Herzog for only now "waking up" to the two-state solution being inviable.

Mr Herzog challenged the Prime Minister to annex the Palestinian territories, saying: "Let's see what happens then."

Dr Berko is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Defence Force and has served as a visiting professor at George Washington University in Washington DC.

Her academic specialism is in counter terrorism and suicide bombings.

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