Sakhnin conference
Photo: Gil Eliyahu
Kanaaneh: Israel not democratic
Photo: Gil Eliyahu
Al-Fatah: Israel usurped Palestinian land
Photo: Gil Eliyahu

Balad vows to fight Zionism from within

Arab leaders mull elections boycott; activist says 'there is no such thing as Jewish democracy'

To vote or not to vote? That was the dilemma confronted by members of Arab factions not running in the elections during a conference in Sakhnin Wednesday.


The panel, summoned by the Sakhnin Municipality, was opened by the city's mayor, who said that those who refrain from voting will be boosting far Right parties.


Awad al-Fatah, secretary-general of Balad, said he is in favor of voting.


"I would be the last to scorn the call to boycott (the elections.) We are not arguing with the Village Sons about historical data. Israel was indeed established on the ruins of the Palestinian people evicted from their land," he said. "Yet what are our weapons when Israel is already an existing fact?"


"The elections are part of the means available the us; we seek to fight Zionism within its own home," he said.


Sakhnin Mayor Mazen Ghnaim also endorsed the call to vote: "I believe that on February 10 we will send as many representatives as possible to the Knesset. Whoever does not vote is making Lieberman stronger," .


'We want to bring change from within'

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Village Sons movement, Mohammad Kanaaneh, argued that the definition of Israel as a Jewish state contradicts its wish for democracy.


"We won't recognize a parliament that denies our right to exist," he said. "The decision to embark on the war in Gaza was endorsed by the Israeli parliament. Participating in this political game strengthens the image that Israel wants to create of itself as a democratic country. There is no such thing as Jewish-democratic."


Hadash Director General Iman Uda called on Arabs to vote with more resolve. "Without the Arab parties, the votes will go to the Zionist parties, and we can't leave the entire arena to the Jews to decide for us, especially when the Right is calling us a fifth column," he said.


"We want to bring change from within," Uda added. "The decision to go to war in Gaza doesn't need the support of the Arab public, but every peace deal relies on our position. The Oslo Accord, as well as disengagement, was approved thanks to Arab MKs."


פרסום ראשון: 02.05.09, 00:44
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