Druze Israeli lawmaker backs ex-defense minister against heckler in Morocco


(JTA) — An Israeli Druze lawmaker defended former Defense Minister Amir Peretz in Arabic after he was verbally accosted by a Moroccan lawmaker during a visit to the Parliament in Rabat.

On Sunday, Moroccan lawmaker Ahsan Abd al-Halek, wearing a scarf featuring the colors of the Palestinian flag, approached Peretz and shouted, “You’re a war criminal, you’re not welcome here.”

Peretz, a member of the opposition Zionist Union and a Morocco native, is part of an Israeli delegation to an international conference on trade among Mediterranean countries. Abd al-Halek was one of several Moroccan lawmakers who showed up at the conference with signs to protest Peretz’s presence, according to the Israeli Broadcasting Corp., which obtained a video of the exchange.

Magli Wahaba, a Druze lawmaker from Beit Jan who came with Perez to the conference, confronted the Moroccan, shouting back in Arabic that he is “with the extremists destroying” the Middle East and that Peretz “was born in Morocco, his parents were born in Morocco, and he has every right to be here.”

The hosts apologized to Peretz and the Israeli delegation for the interruption, Walla news reported. The conference, which was organized by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, continued as planned.

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