Zahalka: Israeli media has surrendered to state

Zahalka Israeli media i

jamal zahalka 248.88 (photo credit: )
jamal zahalka 248.88
(photo credit: )
Two days after he was removed from a Channel 1 studio at the behest of Erev Hadash host Dan Margalit, MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) fanned the flames on Saturday, saying Israeli press has "enlisted" in its support of the defense establishment. Zahalka, who succeeded Azmi Bishara as chairman of the staunchly anti-Zionist party, accused the media of running an "incitement campaign" against him, and said Balad would continue to work to reveal "the war crimes of Israel, whose hands are dipped in children's blood." "The Israeli media is enlisted and has surrendered [to the state]," he said. On Thursday, Zahalka was removed from the set of the program after he and Margalit engaged in heated verbal sparring after Zahalka accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of listening to classical music while children were being killed in Gaza. After Margalit responded by calling Zahalka "cheeky," Zahalka backtracked a bit, saying that it was widely known that the defense minister enjoys classical music and had killed 1,400 children. Margalit then told Zahalka, repeatedly, to "get out of here," which the Balad chairman unwillingly did, while responding that the veteran journalist was "a nothing, a servant of prime ministers, and lacking a conscience." The verbal spat continued after Zahalka left the set, with the MK yelling that the studio in Tel Aviv's northern Ramat Aviv neighborhood was itself on occupied land, and Margalit responding, on camera, that "that's just the point. You want to conquer here as well." The latest fracas came after a number of Arab MKs participated on Thursday in a protest at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip, where they commemorated the first anniversary of Operation Cast Lead and protested the continued blockade placed by Israel on Hamas-ruled Gaza. Although several lawmakers, including MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad), spoke out against Israel, it was MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List-Ta'al) who allowed, via his cellphone, Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh to address the demonstrators. Following the protest, right-wing legislators slammed Sanaa. MK Arye Eldad (National Union) demanded that Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz open a probe into Sanaa's comments and actions, and called on MKs and press alike to boycott Sanaa. MKs David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu) and Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) echoed Eldad's calls for a criminal investigation. MK Danny Danon (Likud) described it as "an act of incitement" and submitted a bill that would permit the removal of an MK in the midst of his term if he is found to have committed incitement against the state. "Sanaa's proper place is not in the Knesset, nor in the Palestinian Authority, but rather with Hamas," Danon said.