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The New Arab

Dumbest excuse for occupation: No letter 'P' in Arabic

Berko holds a PhD in criminology [Facebook]

Date of publication: 11 February, 2016

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Palestinians have heard a litany of excuses for Israel's occupation of its territories, but a Likud MP has offered what could possibly be the most nonsensical yet.

An Israeli lawmaker offered perhaps the dumbest excuse for Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. 

On Wednesday, she argued that there is no such thing as Palestinians as the Arabic language does not contain the letter 'P'.

"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," said Likud MP Anat Berko during a parliamentary session.

Berko's comments drew a strong response from fellow MP Tamar Zandberg, who questioned: "What? Did everyone hear this? Are you an idiot?"

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

Several Palestinian MPs in Knesset shouted at Berko and left the chamber in protest as Berko continued to say: "'Pa pa pa,' there's no 'Pa.' There's 'Fa.'" to a laughing Zandberg.

Palestine in Arabic is pronounced Falasteen, however Berko who is a professor of criminology specialising in "suicide bombings" and has served as visiting professor at the prestigious George Washington University must have missed a few classes.

Berko's comments were mocked on social media, with one Twitter user comparing her to a guest at the Alex Jones Show, a US talk show dedicated to half-baked and outlandish conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile, a Facebook user wrote: "There is no Humus, because Israelis say Khumus (ditto there is no Khamas and Khizbolla) ... P-off!".

Comments reflect the opinions of the visitor and not those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.
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