Zkoor. New party
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Sarsur. Dispute
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Arab MK forms new party

Abas Zkoor, one of Islamic Movement's founders, decides to establish party which will care for interests of minorities in Israel following dispute with United Arab List Chairman Ibrahim Sarsur

Knesset Member Abas Zkoor (United Arab List-Ta'al) plans to leave his party and form a new Arab party. Zkoor announced Wednesday that he has launched negotiations with representatives from the Muslim, Bedouin, Christian and Druze sectors in a bid to care for the needs of the minorities in Israel.


"Instead of wandering around in Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Qatar, it is time to deal with the distress of citizens here," he stated.


A dispute broke out recently between Zkoor and his party's chairman, MK Ibrahim Sarsur, who also serves as head of the Islamic Movement's southern branch.


Sarsur demanded that Zkoor resign from the Knesset in accordance with the party's rotation agreement. Zkoor said that the recent dispute made him realize that Arab MKs were not doing enough for the sector they were elected to represent.


"I walk around and hear people say that no one cares for their needs," Zkoor declared. "The low percentage of voters in the Arab sector, which amounts to 50%, should turn a red light, particularly when some 70,000 people are joining Kadima, Meretz and Labor. Why are they going there?"


Zkoor is one of the founders of the Islamic Movement and has been a member for 25 years. He recently joined forces with former MK Muhammad Kanan, who support Balad in the latest Knesset elections and now heads the National Arab Party. The two hold meetings with voters across the country and meet with senior officials in different sectors.


Zkoor and Kanan recently held a series of meetings with Hassan al-Haib, chairman of the Forum of Bedouin Local Authorities. They said that al-Haib expressed his support for them but has yet to say whether he plans to join the new party. Kfar Kassem Council head Sami Issa, they said, also expressed his interest in the new party.


"It will be a party for everyone, without an Islamic, communist or national ideology," added Zkoor. "It will be a party with an innovative idea, offering a place for religious and secular people and for any person in the country believing in the principle that the human being is above all, focusing on deprived people and on minorities, who should finally be allowed to live in dignity."


פרסום ראשון: 08.27.08, 14:33
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