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Jamal Zahalka

  • Mizrahi struggle 101: A beginner's guide for Ashkenazim

    The Mizrahi struggle must widen its ranks, but in order to do so, Ashkenazim must come to the table from a place of solidarity, not victimhood. Orly Noy with a few tips. This past election cycle saw several high-profile Ashkenazi leftists openly make racist comments about Mizrahim. Whether it was Yair Garbuz, who claimed that Israel is being controlled by “amulet-kissers, idol-worshippers and people who prostrate themselves at the graves of saints,” or actress Anat Waxman who implied that Likud voters were "laborers" from "another nation," there is simply no way to claim that anti-Mizrahi sentiment is a thing of the…

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  • The cynical use of homophobia to attack the Joint List

    The Pride Parade has become a litmus test of enlightenment for politicians. But clinging to that symbol is dangerous in that it disconnects the parade from its actual context — the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equal rights. By Inna Michaeli In a video question-and-answer segment produced by Haaretz this week, Arab actress and singer Mira Awad interviewed Balad party chairman Jamal Zahalka, and in her second question, asked him about the Gay Pride parade. It was no surprise that the program’s editors couldn’t help but lead the program with the pride question. A few moments later Awad asked about polygamy.…

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  • A glimmer of hope against incitement and racism

    Jamal Zahalka promises that the Joint List will remain together for a long time, Dov Khenin tugs at our heart strings, the head of the Islamic Movement speaks of the men and women who make history, and Ayman Odeh, who heads the slate, calls on Arabs members of the Zionist parties to come back home. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) Holding the Joint List’s Arabic-language campaign launch after sundown on a Saturday evening made it seem as if the Arabs were observing the Jewish Shabbat. The location was Nazareth, which once again earned the title of being the Arab community’s…

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  • No parity between Zoabi's democracy and Kahane's racism

    By simply discussing the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel from the upcoming elections, the extreme right has already claimed another victory.   The double-hearing held in the Supreme Court on Tuesday under an extended panel headed by Justice Naor, to discuss the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi and Baruch Marzel, respectively, was one of the more depressing displays of the absurdity we call "Israeli democracy." The constant worshiping of "balance" in the name of some imagined national sanity brought Zoabi – who represented the only party that calls for full equality in Israel – to the same…

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  • Joint Arab List launches Hebrew campaign: 'My answer to racism'

    Jewish Israelis who value equality and want a 'sane' country should support the Arab-dominated list, says member Masud Ganaim at Tel Aviv launch event. The Arab Joint List launched its Hebrew-language campaign in central Tel Aviv Wednesday evening and unveiled its slogan: "My answer to racism." Displayed behind the chairmen of the four parties on the list, the phrase was set against a photo of graffiti reading, "Arabs out," the scene of one of many anti-Arab hate crimes that have become commonplace in recent years. Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and the head of the joint slate, comprised of three…

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  • 'A Palestinian state isn't the solution, but it's a step in the right direction': Meet MK Jamal Zahalka

    Chairman of the Balad party says that unification of Israel’s Arab parties is nothing short of historic — both in Israel and the Arab world: ‘There has never been unity between the communists, nationalists and Islamists.' In an interview, Zahalka talks about his party’s appeal to Jewish voters, why the Joint List won’t join an Israeli government and what compromises he is willing to make to end the occupation. "A war of attrition." That is how writer Samah Salaime Agbaria, my colleague at +972's sister site Local Call, described the endless negotiations between the Arab parties in their attempt to form…

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  • Israeli Arabs should do national service - for everyone's sake

    It would do wonders for equality and integration, and Israeli Arabs seem willing to volunteer, but they're being pounded from both sides by Arab and Jewish nationalists. In principle, I don’t think there would be anything unjust in going so far as to draft Israeli Arab youths to do a year or two of civilian national service in hospitals, schools, etc.  – even though there is a well-known, deeply entrenched pattern of discrimination against Arab citizens in this country. If it’s unjust to draft them to do national service in an old-age home, it’s much more unjust to force them…

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  • Israelis cannot 'democratically' decide to continue the occupation

    The absence of the occupation - the single most important issue which dominates life of Jews and Palestinians in this country - from the Israeli election campaigns, reflects a national existential crisis, and could render the entire democratic process meaningless.  Israelis will go to the polls in four days to determine their future, along with that of several million Palestinians who are under Israeli control. This is the inherent paradox in the Israeli system: a majority voting again and again not to allow a very large minority to participate in its political system. One can view Israel as a democracy…

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  • Election committee bans Palestinian MK Zoabi from participating in elections

    An automatic appeal before the Supreme Court will be heard next week. Zoabi's party, Balad, has already announced it will withdraw from the elections if the decision is not reversed. Israel's Central Election Committee (CEC) voted today (Wednesday) to disqualify Palestinian Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi from participating in the coming elections. MK Zoabi is the number two candidate on Balad's Knesset list. The decision is automatically transferred to the Supreme Court, which will hear the appeal next week. Earlier today, Balad announced that if the Supreme Court doesn't allow Zoabi to run, the entire party will withdraw from the elections. The decision…

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