Photo: Gil Yohanan
Zahalka. Wants zero voters
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Livni. Emerged victorious
Photo: Ofer Amram

Balad leader: Shun Arabs joining Zionist parties

High percentile of Israeli Arabs registered to vote in Kadima primaries prompts MK Zahalka to launch campaign against Arab support for mainstream parties; 'this is not just a matter of voting, but of Arab society in Israel,' he says

Balad Chairman MK Jamal Zahalka called on his comrades in the Knesset on Thursday to launch an aggressive campaign discouraging Israeli Arabs from becoming registered voters in Zionist parties.


"Every society has shameful phenomena, and our job is to shun people who register to vote for these parties," Zahalka announced.


14,000 out of the 74,000 Kadima Party registered voters are Israeli Arabs, a percentile that prompted Zahalka to call for the establishment of a campaign explaining the issue to the Arab sector.


"Any number would be too high; I think there should be zero registered voters," he claimed. "Kadima, which is responsible for the Second Lebanon War and the murder of Lebanese people and our brethren the Palestinians, is a party that exalts a policy of national discrimination.


"Arab citizens must not register to vote for this party. This is a phenomenon we have witnessed in the Likud, Labor, and some have even supported Rehavam Ze'evi."


Zahalka's data is not based solely on the Kadima primary elections. In the last general elections 26% of Israeli Arabs voted for non-Arab parties. At that time Balad was also running a campaign against the occurrence, which included use of billboards, posters, and ads.


"But it wasn't enough," Zahalka lamented. "This time we decided not to wait for the elections, and we will begin now. This isn't just a matter of voting, but about the construction of Arab society in Israel."


He added, "I find it hard to believe that even one registered Kadima voter actually supports the party's ideology. It's very obvious that the reason for registering to vote is the desire to be affiliated with the government. The campaign contractors behave like beggars."


Zahalka plans to appeal to Arab party leaders over the next few days in an effort to devise a strategy. So far he has only announced that Balad would not support a government led by the newly elected Kadima chairwoman, Tzipi Livni. "I believe my comrades in the other parties will do the same," he concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 09.18.08, 18:17
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