Israeli Lawmaker Says Palestinian Nation Doesn’t Exist, Because Arabic Doesn't Have 'P'

'What? Did everyone hear this? Are you an idiot?' was one lawmaker's response.

Likud MK Anat Barko, February 10, 2016.Olivieh Fitoussi

A Likud lawmaker was met with derision in the Knesset plenum, after saying that that there was no such thing as a Palestinian people, since Arabic doesn't have the consonant "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," MK Anat Berko said in a Knesset address on Wednesday.

While the lawmaker was correct in saying that Arabic doesn't have a "P" sound, the word for "Palestine" in Arabic begins with the consonant "F," the same as in Hebrew, and is pronounced: "Falastin."

"What? Did everyone hear this? Are you an idiot?" Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg called out, to which Berko responded: "These are the facts. I'll send it to you, everything's alright."

MK Osama Sa'adi from the Joint Arab List left the plenum in protest after Berko's remarks.

The lawmaker's gaffe was made during a Knesset debate on the Labor's plan for separating from the Palestinians. In the debate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Labor leader Isaac Herzog also traded barbs, with the prime minister mocking Labor for only now "waking up" to reality and recognizing that the two-state solution isn't viable.

In response, Herzog dared Netanyahu to annex the territories. "Let's see what happens then," he said.