Two lawmakers on Wednesday engaged in a vicious shouting match in the Knesset plenum, with MK Ofer Cassif calling a female counterpart a “hen.”
The verbal altercation between the Joint List’s Cassif and Yesh Atid MK Merav Ben-Ari occurred during a debate on legislation aimed at combating agricultural crime.
According to the bill, proposed by Religious Zionism MK Ofir Sofer, a court will be able to expropriate property belonging to a person convicted of an agricultural crime, as compensation. The bill passed its initial reading, 41-5.
Following the vote Cassif, who voted against, gave a speech in which he said that “the state is the biggest thief of all, especially from the Arab Palestinian citizens, in favor of the Jews.”
Ben-Ari yelled out at him in disapproval, to which Cassif shouted back: “Stop your hen-like screeching. Other than shouting you can’t do anything else.”
Ben-Ari responded: “Who do you think you are to talk to me in such a manner? How are you not ashamed?”
עימות סוער במליאת הכנסת: ח”כ עופר כסיף מהרשימה המשותפת קרא “להשתיק את התרנגולת”, אחרי שח”כ מירב בן ארי מיש עתיד הפריעה לנאומו. בן ארי השיבה לו: “שובניסט ומיזוגן. כל יום שאתה יושב בכנסת זו בושה למדינה”@ZeevKam pic.twitter.com/5b7L19r26Q
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) January 19, 2022
She also called Cassif a “misogynistic racist and Israel hater,” adding that every day he continues to serve as a lawmaker “is a shame to the state.”
Cassif is the only current Jewish lawmaker in the Arab-majority Joint List, and is known for getting into heated arguments with other Jewish MKs.
“You should move to the parliament in Ramallah. Show some respect when talking about the farmers of Israel,” Ben-Ari said.
Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Mansour Abbas, head of the coalition’s Ra’am party, who was overseeing proceedings, tried to calm the situation, but Cassif shouted back at him that “it is inappropriate that she’s interrupting and shouting at me.”
Likud MK Avi Dichter, who was present at the plenum, yelled at Cassif, “Whoever impudently dares to call a woman a hen is probably a man without balls.”