Haifa rally
Photo: Ahiya Raved

Arab Israelis back Egyptian protestors

Protests held across nation; former MK Makhoul: We're showing solidarity with Arab nations

Arab Israelis held rallies of solidarity with Egyptian protestors across the nation Saturday, expressing their support for ongoing protests threatening to topple President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.


In Haifa, dozens of Arab residents accompanied by leftist activists gathered for a protest and held up communist, Palestinian and Tunisian flags. The demonstrators chanted slogans in support of the Egyptian uprising while slamming President Mubarak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Former Knesset Member Issam Makhoul took part in the protest, which he said was meant to "show solidarity with the uprising of Arab nations in general, and with the Egyptians in particular."


"Now, a new Middle East had truly been born. The struggle aims to return the government in these states to their peoples," he said. "We are not indifferent to this struggle and we aren't neutral. We urge the Egyptian people to resist the weak regime, which was associated with American imperialism and its regional interests."


Another protestor, Dalit, told Ynet that she arrived in order to show solidarity with the Egyptian people.


"This is truly a revolution. It's a struggle for freedom and for the most basic rights of people living under dictatorial regimes," she said.


Former MK Makhoul added that while he does not expect a Cairo revolution to affect the peace treaty with Israel, "popular uprisings that weaken America's hold on the region will clearly affect Israel too." He estimated that the Egyptian uprising has already succeeded, and that Mubarak is a "dead horse" even if he remains in power for a few more months.


'Mubarak and Sadat – American dogs'  

In Tel Aviv, some 20 people, both Jewish and Arab, protested outside the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. Some of them held up signs slamming the Egyptian government, whole others waved small flags to show their solidarity with the protests. Some of the demonstrators arrived directly from the rally against "Jewish settlement" in Jaffa held earlier Saturday.


Tunisian, Palestinian flags in Haifa (Photo: Ahiya Raved)


During the rally, an Egyptian embassy official came out and ordered a Ynet photographer to refrain from documenting the protest. A police cruiser also arrived at the scene to maintain the peace. At this time it is unclear whether the embassy will operate normally Sunday.


During the rally, one protestor used a loudspeaker to charge that "(Former Egyptian leader) Nasser left American dogs after his death: Mubarak and Sadat." Another protestor, Hadash activist Rasul Saada, praised the "heroic Egyptian people," while expressing his hope for revolutions in more Arab states.


"The time has come for real democracies in Arab states," he said.


Another rally was held in the northern Israel village Kfar Yassif, where some 200 people gathered to express their solidarity with Arab nations. The protestors included Knesset Members Mohammad Barakeh, Hanna Swaid, Afou Agbaria, Mohamed Naffa and Dov Khenin.


"We support and are excited by each move taken by the Egyptian people in order to remove Mubarak and the Egyptian regime," Nafa said at the event.



פרסום ראשון: 01.29.11, 23:33
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