Nabih Berri, speaks after he was re-elected Lebanon's parliamentary speaker, as Lebanon's newly elected parliament convenes for the first time to elect a speaker and deputy speaker in Beirut, Lebanon May 23, 2018 .
(photo credit: LEBANESE PARLIAMENT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
The Lebanese Parliament speaker Nabih Berri apparently had no qualms about using an antisemitic slur in a meeting with Jewish American politician Eliot L. Engel.
The Lebanese daily Al-Jumhouriyya
quoted Berri as saying during his meeting Engel, "How to Recognize a Jew? If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold near her or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out from his mother's womb and grabs the gold, you know he is a Jew."
The meeting, which took place several days ago, was meant to focus on negotiations between Israel and Lebanon on demarcating the maritime border between the two countries, which would impact oil and gas drilling rights in the Mediterranean.
Al-Jumhouriyya reported in its article on May 29 that Berri made the comment when he as asked what he thinks is motivating Israel to soften its position and agree to demarcate the land and maritime borders simultaneously.
“The Israelis want the oil [in the Mediterranean] and want to produce the oil and gas found in the Palestinian waters,” Berri continued. “If they had companies capable of drilling and producing [the gas and oil themselves], they would have acted immediately, without delay. But they need [the help of] international companies, and the latter are apprehensive.
“They want to operate and invest [their money] in a calm and stable climate,” he said. “They do not dare to take risks and start operating in oil [fields] in the Palestinian waters, or in parts of the sea close to the 860 square kilometers that are disputed between Israel and Lebanon, as long as they feel insecure and believe that the situation can explode at any moment. That is why Israel withdrew [from its previous position].”
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