Balad Chairman and Israeli Arab Knesset Member Azmi Bishara has claimed that he and other Israeli Arab politicians have been the victim of a smear campaign.
"There is distortion and incitement against Arab Knesset Members in the Knesset recently. New Knesset Members, I have no clue of their names, are cooperating in a campaign in which they hurl accusations against us, like that we are a 'fifth column.' This is beneath my honor and I won't answer them so that they are not awarded press coverage," complained Bishara.
Since the start of fighting in Gaza and Lebanon, tones are increasingly rising in the Knesset. Knesset Members from Arab parties hurl harsh comments from the Knesset stage and in organized demonstrations in Arab villages and in Tel Aviv, while other Knesset Members charge them with being traitors and a fifth column.
The record was on Wednesday, Knesset Member Talab el-Sana complained of receiving death threats.
'Hizbullah won't be defeated'
Knesset Member Bishara often appears in many Arab television channels in states such as Syria, and in Lebanon, as well as Al-Jazeera, and he publicizes many comments in the Arab press.
He is almost completely absent, however, from the Hebrew press in Israel.
Bishara sees the fighting in Lebanon as an American war using Israeli tools. "I don't understand why they claim I am against the public? What, if I don't want boys and girls to be killed for the United States, that's bad? If I am against the war that's suddenly a bad thing? And in general, the threat created by Hizbullah… the Arab capitals are directly threatened by Israel much more than the threat Israel faces from Hizbullah. In Lebanon they decided they will posses weapons of deterrence against Israel, but who brought about the situation they are used?"
Bishara also claimed thatIsrael is "carrying out a genocide against the Shiites, and it's legitimate to revolt against such a step. In my opinion, we didn't even express ourselves harshly enough on this."
"I can't come to terms to a situation in which Israel will continue to stir what is happening in southern Lebanon. Hizbullah assembled power and built infrastructures so that it's not easy for Israel to enter it and that is indeed what is happening," Bishara claimed. "Hizbullah won't be defeated," he said.