Bishara: Arabs don’t need Israeli democracy
Knesset session – Bishara says Arabs not interested in Israeli democracy
Photo: Knesset Channel
Israel is the 20th century's greatest robbery, carried out in broad daylight, Arab Knesset member Azmi Bishara (National Democratic Assembly) told a Lebanese audience last week during a speech at an Arab book fair in Beirut.
"I will never recognize Zionism even if all Arabs do," he said. "I will never concede Palestine. The battle is still long."
Bishara, who recently launched his campaign for an additional term in the Knesset, left for Lebanon five days ago without consent from the Interior Ministry, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
His harsh anti-Israel message at the fair was quoted by Lebanese newspaper As -Safir.
"The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not a demographic dispute, but a national one," he said. "It's not the problem of 1.2 million Palestinians living in Israel. They are like all Arabs, only with Israeli citizenship forced upon them."
"We are the original residents of Palestine, not those who came from Poland and Russia," the MK added.
‘Leave and take your democracy with you’
Directing his speech at Israelis, Bishara said, "Return Palestine to us and take your democracy with you. We Arabs are not interested in it."
The audience received the Knesset member with great applause
Bishara also used the opportunity to criticize Arab leaders who have ties with Israel.
"Why does one of the Arab countries provide a home for (Foreign Minister) Silvan Shalom, while the army destroys homes in Palestine on a daily basis?" he said, referring to the foreign minister's recent visit to his birth county of Tunisia. "If you want to surrender, do it, but don't force us to give in."
Bishara has meanwhile returned to Israel and told Yedioth Ahronoth Saturday night that his speech was "about Zionism and citizenship."
"I didn’t say anything new that I hadn't said in other places. I've spoken like this in the Knesset," he said.