Extremist Lieberman: Unified Palestinian-Israeli Party a threat to Israel as ‘Jewish State’

By IMEMC & Agencies

Arab parties in Israel announced they would be running in the upcoming Israeli Knesset election, scheduled for March 17, in a unified list that could increase their representation from 11 to a minimum of 12-15 seats. The lists represents all parties, including Islamist and communist movements.

The agreement came following negotiation sessions that took place over the past five weeks, with the intention of forming a unified list that represents all Palestinians in the country, regardless of their affiliations and faiths.

The parties initially agreed to run in the election in one list or two at most, especially after Israel raised the required minimum of votes from %2 to %3, an issue that was seen as an attempt to limit the number of Arab seats.

The first fifteen seats of the list include the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, with five seats, including a seat for a Jewish legislator, and four seats for the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement.

The agreement includes four seats for the National Democratic Assembly and two for the Arab Movement for Change, while smaller parties will have rotating seats, should the unified bloc fail to garner more than 15 seats.

Mohammad Ali Taha, head of the Unity Committee that ran the negotiations between different parties, said in a press conference on Friday evening that the list “symbolizes hope for the people,” and comes “to prevent Israel’s right-wing parties from returning to power.”

The names of candidates heading the list are Ayman Odah, Masoud Ghaneyem, Jamal Zahakla, Ahmad Tibi, ‘Aida Touma, Abdul-Hakim Hajj Yahia, Hani Zaobi, Taleb Abu ‘Arar, Yousef Jabarin, Bassel Ghattas, Abdullah Abu Ma’rouf, Jom’a az-Zabarqa, Sa’id al-Kharroumi and Dov Khenin.

Ramez Jarayse, a leader of the Democratic Front, said forming this unified list is coherent with the current changes on the ground, on the national, regional and international levels, and is essential to counter the Israeli attempts to keep the Arabs away from the political arena.

“We have a lot in common ground work, larger than our differences,” he said, “we are forming a partnership; each party will still be independent in its social stances, its own ideology and politics.”

National Assembly Legislator, Dr. Jamal Zahalka, described the unified list as a historic event that could rewrite the history of Israeli politics.

“This is a historic day, we might not be aware of that, but we should, we want to thank the thousands, the parties, every person who pushed for unity,” he said, “This unity wasn’t born just after a few weeks of talks, but after long months, this is the first time Islamists, Communists, Nationalists and leftists unite in one single coalition.”

Knesset Member Massoud Ghanayem of the Islamic Movement called on all Arabs in the country to support the unified list.

“Do not disappoint us, support the new birth, the newborn is you, is unity; to those who say we cannot unite, I say we are united,” he said “yesterday I was representing the Islamic Movement in the negotiations to get the largest number of seats, today we are all one, united in one list, hoping for a larger Arab representation.”

“We urge you to march in the thousands, to vote, to slap Lieberman who fears our unity, let us act on ensuring a large Arab representation,” Ghanayem said, “Let our representation reach the Negev, reach every part of the country.”

Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi of the National Democratic Assembly said unity needs to produce a suitable political atmosphere, to overcome strategic differences.

“Those who boycott the Knesset election should support this unified list,” Zoabi said, “Unity’s main goals are countering carelessness, despair and fear; we have a struggle, and a mission to regain the public trust in Arab parties.”

She also said the new list should transform the Arab parties into a new era that dictates new rules to Israeli politics.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the extremist Israel Our Home Party was angered by the latest developments, and alleged that this unity targets Israel’s very existence.

“Now we see what they always kept hidden, what we already knew, their true mission,” Lieberman said, “Whether they are Islamist, Communists or Jihadists, they are all united to bring an end to Israel as a Jewish State.”

Via International Middle East Media Center

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

WotchitGeneralNews: “Israel’s Arab Parties Unite, Could Help Netanyahu Rivals”

5 Responses

  1. The Israel Communist Party, currently known as Hadash, has sponsored joint Arab-Israeli political representation in Israel dating back to the seating of the First Knesset in 1949 when Christian Arab Tawfiq Toubi, a journalist from Haifa, was elected. MK Meir Vilner, who signed the Israeli declaration of independence, opposed the initiation of the Six-Day War and was stabbed by a right-wing Israeli extremist as a result in 1967.

    Many, if not most, Israeli Arabs in Nazareth today, for example, identify as Marxists and this is a common phenomenon among the Israeli Arab demographic segment, although a number of have been elected as Labor Party members to the Knesset including the female Christian Arab Nadia Hilou.

    Hadash MK Dov Khenin, a Jewish attorney mentioned in the above article, polled credibly in a recent municipal election for mayor of Tel Aviv, receiving about 34% of the vote, compared to 50% for the winner.

  2. The harsh reality is, if Israelis really want an all Jewish state, they are going to have to give up lots of land, water and cash to make it happen. Israel can not try to displace any more non-Jewish without either causing a massive war they will lose (and lose everything in the process) or become a large minority in a secular state.

    The situation in the area west of the Jordan river is actually fairly simple:

    – the land area is bounded – that is, it can not get any larger because Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt will not let it expand. While Israel might have been able to win militarily in the past, it can not longer do that. The countries around Israel are just as well equipped and have as many capable military leaders as Israel. Israel has no magic weapons (nukes don’t count, because if Israel used their nukes, they would be committing suicide).

    – With a situation where two distinct groups want the same bounded land, there are ONLY THREE long term solutions.

    – DIVIDE the land such that both groups are only moderately unhappy. For this to happen today, Israel would need to have a civil war to forcibly remove over 500,000 Israelis from land that would need to go to the Arabs. Given the current leadership in Israel, this is almost impossible.

    – SHARE the land such that every human in the bounded space is equal. This is very doable, BUT . . . it would mean that there would be no “Jewish State.” The state would be secular with no religious basis. All the religions would need to be relegated to non-political status.

    – Ethnic cleansing where one group drives the other group out of the bounded space. This is what the Israeli have been trying for almost 100 years, but they have now reached a brick wall. They can not longer quietly get away with it and any further attempts to ethically cleanse the area will simply lead to massive war, which the Israelis cannot win.

    The bottom line is the Israeli have simply hit the end of their ability to use force to achieve their goal because the Palestinians have nothing left to lose.

    The Israelis are in a terrible box of their own making and there are no easy nor pleasant solution to their self-created problem. BUT …. if they don’t find an acceptable way to resolve it fairly quickly, the world is going to impose a solution on Israel that they will definitely will not like and the US will NOT be able to protect Israel.

    I get so frustrated with the blind arrogant hubris of Israelis. They appear to believe their own myths so strongly that they are totally blind to the real world and the lessons of history (including their own religious documents that REPEATEDLY warn about the sin of pride).

  3. Joyce Davis

    Israel keeps saying it is a democratic state. I will believe that when Ahmad Tibi or Haneen Zoabi is elected PM, and respected .

  4. The end of Israel as a Jewish State? I would happily see the end of all sectarian states. Israel may yet be a “Light unto Nations.”

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