‘How Can You Recognize a Jew?’ Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Crudely Antisemitic Outburst
Nabih Berri, the powerful speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, reached for one of the ugliest antisemitic stereotypes in the book during a media interview on Thursday that was ostensibly about the maritime border between his country and Israel.
Asked by newspaper Al-Joumhouria about his recent discussion of the issue with visiting US Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Berri explained Israel’s position on the maritime border as fueled by the supposedly Jewish obsession with money and wealth.
Said Berri: “Someone was once asked, how can you recognize a Jew? The answer was: It’s simple. If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold next to her, or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out of his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know that he is a Jew.”
In remarks that were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Berri continued: “The Israelis want the oil [in the Mediterranean] and want to produce the oil and gas found in the Palestinian waters. 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. 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.”
A leader of the radically anti-Israel Amal movement, the 81-year-old Berri is a close ally of the Iranian regime and its Lebanese Shi’a proxy, Hezbollah.
Earlier this month, the UAE newspaper The National claimed that the US was considering sanctions against Berri because of his ties with Tehran.
The paper quoted an unnamed US official describing Berri as “Iran’s man in Lebanon.”
Said the anonymous US official: “He is Hezbollah’s main line of political support. US economic targeting and sanctions will increase until Berri goes — or changes, which is unlikely. As long as Berri remains in power, the country will suffer.”