Ghanem tears into Israel at global parliamentary

Speaker lambastes Israeli delegation, shames it to leave hall

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem speaks during an Inter-Parliamentary Union session. – KUNA

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia: Kuwait’s chief lawmaker fiercely retaliated to the Israeli parliament representative’s comments on imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers at an international conference yesterday. “The saying ‘if you have no shame do as you please’ applies to the comments made by this rapist (Israeli) parliament,” National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem told lawmakers gathered at Inter-Parliamentary Union talks.

During a discussion about Palestinian lawmakers arrested by Israeli authorities, Ghanem said this “represents the most dangerous type of terrorism – the terrorism of the state”. “You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honorable parliament around the world,” he said, addressing the Israeli delegation. “Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children,” he charged. The Israeli delegation left the talks following the remarks by Ghanem and several other parliaments amidst applause.

In press statements on the concluding day of the IPU assembly, MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said the Kuwaiti delegation successfully won support for an item on Rohingya Muslims that was overwhelmingly voted for and added to the assembly’s agenda. Later yesterday, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri voiced his gratitude to Ghanem for his speech. Speaking to the parliament, Berri thanked Ghanem for his forceful stance.

Kuwait is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian issue and has maintained its boycott of Israel even as other Gulf and Arab states have softened their stance or are allegedly strengthening links with Israel. Kuwait Airways refuses service to Israeli citizens, citing a Kuwaiti law barring citizens from agreements “with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship”.

The national carrier has resisted pressure to change its policy and has absorbed major financial hits as a result. Last year, Kuwait Airways cancelled flights between London and New York after a fracas over its refusal to carry Israeli citizens. It dropped the route after 35 years of operations. Faced with lawsuits, it also ended other intra-European flights over similar reasons.

And earlier this month, Arab-Israeli Facebook star Nuseir Yassin slammed Kuwait Airways for its longstanding policy of refusing to fly Israeli passengers. He had booked a Kuwait Airways flight to the India from New York, but when he arrived at the airport to check in, he was turned away. Yassin also questioned the motives behind Kuwait’s boycott, claiming that the country’s efforts hurt Israel’s Arab minority.


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