MK Zkoor launches new Arab party
Sharon Roffe-Ofir
Published: 03.12.08, 18:07
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17 Talkbacks for this article
1. Not to be trusted.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (12.03.08)
No matter the rhetoric, there is always hostile intention. You only get one guess as to whom that hostile intention is directed.
2. As an Israeli-Arab, I agree with each word he said...
Rami of Nazareth ,   Israel   (12.03.08)
It's about time arab parties start working to improve the lives of and build a better future for Israeli-Arabs. A distinction has to be maid between us and the palis as we do not share the same aspirations as them nor do we wish to be part of thier future country... I hope Israeli-Arabs would heed the calls, stop voting of the failed arab parties and support parties that promote a better future for us in Israel.
3. Terry: your fear is based on treotypes..
Rami of Nazareth ,   Israel   (12.03.08)
The israeli media always paint a negative picture about Israeli-Arabs because our community is in the news only when sonmething bad happens. As a result Israeli-Jews do not get an accurate picture about Israeli-Arabs unless they actually have an arab friend, nieghbor, coworker.. etc... Israeli-Arabs see their future in Israel, harbor no hatred toward the jews and have no intention of harming the countries security. All we are asking for is equality and a chance to be a part of the collective israeli society..
4. #3 Rami, the Israeli-Arabs themselves built this stereotype.
Roman ,   Lod, Israel   (12.03.08)
You built it through your political and community leaders. Through BALA"D, RA"AM TA"AL, and CHADA"SH. And through the Ra'ad Salah and his continued tenure as the leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, and the mayor of Nazareth who cut the national alarm system because "Arabs don't hurt Arabs", and then accused the state of anti-Arab bias about that very system when it turned out during the last war (with Hezb in Lebanon) that they do. Like it or not, these are your public face. These people make up the constant leaders of the Arab-Israeli "Arabs of 1948". The people you blindly bring to prominense through blatant sectarianism, nationalism, and downright tribalism. They represent the majority of you, through *your* choice. They, the pan-Arab secular nationalsts who still live in the Sixties, the Communists, and the new Islamists. So what are we supposed to think? We have Arab friends and colleagues, Rami, us Jews. Most of us do. We hear how you whine constantly about how your political leaders don't care one iota about you - how they get into "political issues" (the codeword for Palestinian issues and pan-Arab issues) instead of taking care of *you*, their voters. And we see how little effort they require to get you guys to vote for them yet again - like the riot in Nazareth before the last national elections. So what should we believe - that you don't care about the manifestos and politicians you vote for? First get your act together. It took you guys several *decades* to get a party centred around putting your own immediate care, rather than regional politics that tended to be about eroding this very country, if not destroying it entirely. So choose. Break your own self-wrought chains, because whining doesn't seem to change much. For anyone, anywhere, anytime. Act instead of reacting, living in the same mental line, and doing what you always did just because you always did it.
5. Good for him
Israeli   (12.03.08)
6. Interesting, makes sense.
David ,   Boston, USA   (12.03.08)
This is what elected officials are supposed to do, represent their constiuency.
7. Dont trust him
Freejay3 ,   Israel   (12.03.08)
Any Arab that believes in a Palastine, only proves that he wants Israel destroyed. There is no Palestine and it fraudulently exists for one sole purpose, Israels destruction, as its Charter clearly states! Dont be fooled!
8. A very good move
Gilan ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (12.03.08)
After 60 years of living apart together, it's about time that we Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis learn to accept each other as equals and work together for the betterment of our shared country. The Palestinian issue should not overshadow the importance of equal rights, responsibilities and participation in society for all citizens. Rami, I'm with you. And I think a good deal of other Jewish Israelis are as well.
9. The unfortunate thing about stereotypes...
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, DC USA   (12.03.08)
... is that they sometimes apply. Rami, you may wish to promote a better future in Israel, divorced from the aspiration of Palestinians, but others in your own community don't. I was in Haifa in 2005, and my group made a day trip to Nazareth. What struck me was the number of PLO and Hamas flags hanging off balconies in Arab Nazareth. So Terry and others have reason to be skeptical. Since you see your "better future" in Israel, let me pose a few "acid test" questions. Does your group support Arab participation in National Service? Does your group reject the calls for Arab autonomy within Israel? If you can't answer "yes" to both of these questions , expect Jewish Israelis to remain skeptical.
10. #3, Rami interesting, about bad press, thats what Israel get
David ,   Boston, USA   (12.03.08)
Thats EXACTLY what Israel gets in world press, not the truth, but propaganda, selective truth to demonize Israel. As for this article and comments you made, I agree, it makes sense. Israel is a Jewish state, but all citizens have the same rights and also the same responsibilities. If people dont follow those, shame on them and that needs changing.
11. Rami of Nazareth
Jared ,   Toronto, Canada   (12.03.08)
I am pleased that there are Israeli Arabs that feel the way you do towards Israel but want to make it better for all its citizens. This is progress and I hope that this new party achieves their objective. It seems like this is the first Arab Israeli party that actually speaks for Arab Israelis and not other groups outside of Israel.
12. #2 RAMI
i agree with you and would love to have other arab citizens feel as you do. however, the message that needs to be ingrained in the israeli arab mind by leaders that care about them and their condition is this....the israeli arabs must stop identifying themselves as the palestinians from outside our borders. since these israeli arabs have no wish to join the palestinians in their future statew, it is about time they and the parties they choose stop identifying with the palestinian cause and roaming and parading around israel with raed salah, bishara, tibi, zahalka, etc... who want to politicise these arabs rather than solve their social problems. these arab leaders use the israeli arabs for their nefarious interests and in doing so, case the israeli government and population to mistrust and resent them. how can mistrust and resentment between us contribute to the betterment of the israeli arab population? if we see you guys and your leaders marching and chanting the hamas moto, flying hamas flags, hizbullah flags, what are we to think of this behavior? if you refuse national service, stab jews at times, ram your cars into them and kill them with knives, what are we to think? you choose bad leaders just like the palestinians chose arafat who brought only war, misery, violence poverty and corruption to the palestinians. is bishara or zahalka or tibi any different? they all committ sedition and verbal attacks on israel continually and the arab sector which elected them says nothing and is silent. you israeli arabs and your leaders have a problem. it is called an identity problem. you love what israel gives you, but you hate it for existing. i wonder how all arabs in israel would fare under egyptian, saudi, syrian and iranian regimes? unfortunatelly, the complainer always complains until they taste some other horrible situation. then, they miss what they had and want it back. you can only be part of israel if you want to be part of israel. the jews are part of every country they reside in, adopt the countries' rules and laws, abide by them, do not have leaders that incite against their country of residence and do not have leaders that visit the enemy during war or conflict. the jews residing in the diaspora respect the nationality of the country they reside in and abide by all its holidays, rules, etc... they do not demand the country changing the law, the national anthem, the government system, the religious system, etc.. they do what needs to be done privately and on the outside, respect all nationals in any nation. arabs are different. they have a sense of victimhood and entitlement which is unseen with any other religion, especially if they are muslims. when you are a minority you can have rights, but can't impose your way on the majority. i only wish that arabs could have treated the jews in all arab lands as well as israel is treating you with full legal rights, full voting rights (which your leaders tell you not to vote in elections in that fair? you live in israel, why shouldn't you vote like everyone?) and with access to education, freedom of movement, etc...
13. Unfortunately, not enough Israeli Arab unity
JPS ,   Efrat   (12.04.08)
That old oxymoron, "Arab Unity", will probably foil Zkoor's efforts. It's high time an Arab party emerged that is there to serve the broad agenda of the Arab voter in Israel. If he can get a list together that is broad-based and can capture the imagination of the Arab voters, it would be great to see him get 10 or more seats. I've said this for years: the Arabs in Israel are their own worst enemy with their internal divisions. With a united front they could technically gain 24 seats in the Knesset and become the official opposition and wield lots of clout. It would be a great start to help them fight their way through the the racism and discrimination in our society. However, I doubt it'll happen, since the Arabs take a lot of their cues from the Jews here, and we're about as divided as they come.
14. they wont get extra votes just take from other arab parties
zionist forever   (12.04.08)
The arabs wont get anymore seats than they do now instead they will poach from other arabs parties but the jews are not all going to start voting arab. They may be like Kadima taking over from Labour as the party for leftists or they may be like other waste of space limited support parties and simply not get any seats. Even Livni would consider it to risky to invite an arab party into a left wing coalition she would find it harder to justify her concesions because the public would see it as trying to appease her coalition members and the arabs would be saying she isnt going far enough with her concesions.
15. rami from nazareth
zionist forever   (12.04.08)
One of the big problems the arabs have is their desire not to simply live as arab citizens of a jewish state but rather to turn Israel into a binational state rather than a jewish one. I have seen so many proposals from the arab community and arab politicians on Israel becoming this binaational state and jews see that as a threat. Then when the arabs show soilidarity for the palestinians it doesn't matter what your feelings jews mistrust you because your taking the side of the enemy. Until you start calling a palestinian terrorist A TERRORIST and not a freedom fighter or somebody fighting occupation etc and supporting the idea of Israel remaining a JEWISH STATE then your just not going to get the jews on your side.
16. Roman from Lod #4 wow
Jerry ,   New York   (12.04.08)
Wow this guy should not be living in Lod. Brilliant analysis and so well articulated. Smarter than most ministers in the Israeli gov-nt. My only question is- what the hell is he doing in Lod? This guy has lots of sechel!
17. 12
zionist forever   (12.04.08)
I look forward to the Yom Hatzmaut when an arab MK stands proudly as the flag is raised and anthem played and says I am proud to be an Israeli citizen rather than boycot anything like that and gather with the palestinians and their supporters to mourn for the nakba. Although I think that day is a long way off I think that we will sooner have a generation of jews growing up saying Israel was responsible for the nakba because our Peace Now founding education minister Yuli Tamir has now got the history books to say jews caused the nakba. Politics & enemy propoganda have merged inito the same thng in Israel now and is being taught in schools. If the arabs already have an identity crisis we are trying to create one for the jews.
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