'I could have become a hero'
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
Assad - Won't break ties with Hizbullah
Photo: AFP

Bishara: Israel offered Golan to Syria during war

Former MK who fled country to escape espionage charges gives tell-all interview to Israeli-Arab newspaper, says negotiations between with Damascus are 'a hopeless sham,' accuses Olmert of having been corrupt for years

"Israel offered Syria to cede the Golan Heights during the Second Lebanon War in exchange for Damascus cutting its ties with Hizbullah," former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara said in an interview with the Nazareth-based 'al-Anwan al-Raisy' newspaper.


Journalist Yazid Dahamsha met with Bishara in a hotel in Amman earlier this week and heard him address current events in Israel as well as the circumstances surrounding his escape from a police investigation into whether he had indeed been collaborating with Hizbullah.


"I could have gone to prison and become a hero, but the future of Balad (the political party he belonged to) was important to me, and so I preferred to become a refugee," said Bishara.


The former MK proved up-to-day with happenings in Israel. "He even briefed me on what the Israeli papers had run the morning of our meeting," Dahamsha told Ynet.


In the interview Bishara disparaged the recently renewed negotiations between Israel and Syria as hopeless. "It's all a sham, both sides are serious about peace but there is no horizon for this," he said.

According to Bishara, Syria will refuse to sever its ties to Iran and Hizbullah – a key Israeli demand.


"Israel is not looking for peace, it's looking to come to an agreement with the Arab nations. Israel is a foreign entity that refuses to coexist in peace with its surroundings; much like the Crusaders."


Bishara also addressed the ongoing talks with the Palestinian Authority: "I fail to understand how Palestinian figures use the United States and Israel to fight their brothers in internal Palestinian strife. The idea of this Palestinian state is catastrophic, there will be no peace without the return of the refugees and there are Palestinians who are themselves party to this plot to drop this issue from the agenda."


The former MK was also keen to share his point of view of the corruption investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.


"He's been corrupt for years. The investigation against him is just part of the war of the elite in Israel. I don't think that Olmert's refusal to start a war against Iran is the reason this affair was raised."


His own political party, Balad, has only grown stronger since the allegations against him were revealed,

said Bishara.


"Balad today is a much stronger movement. The case only strengthened it, and the flippant polling figures being published are of no interest here," he insisted.


Bishara also accused MKs from other Arab parties of fanning the flames against him: "There are some Arab figures who aided the Zionists against me, and my example is that of the Arab prophet Mohammad who emigrated from Mecca to al-Madina."


פרסום ראשון: 06.05.08, 22:10
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