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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.

Hadash chairman Ayman Odeh at a press conference, February 11, 2015. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Hadash chairman Ayman Odeh at a press conference, February 11, 2015. (Photo by Activestills.org)

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 Arab parties and Hadash party, spoke along with Masud Ganaim of Ra’am, Jamal Zahalka of Balad and Ahmed Tibi of Ta’al.

Odeh presented the Joint List’s platform as one advancing equality, social justice and national justice, but said that main element of the platform is national rights for Arabs.

“We deserve civil and national equality,” Odeh said. “We have heard a lot about social justice. We have been fighting for it for decades.”

The newly elected Hadash chairman said that even though not every Israeli will vote for them, the list represents everyone and is reaching out to the weak sectors of society, including Mizrahi Jews and Ethiopians. Narrowing the gaps between Arabs and Jews and encouraging the employment of Arab women is a top priority, he added.

Odeh also addressed the wider political landscape, lamenting that in Israeli society that those who support the Jewish nation state bill are considered the mainstream, while people who are pro-Democracy are considered radical. “One state for all Jews is considered centrist, while one state for all citizens is considered radical.”

Heads of the four parties comprising the Joint List (from left to right) Ayman Odeh of Hadash, Masud Ganaim of Ra’am, Jamal Zahalka of Balad and Ahmad Tibi of Ta’al, Tel Aviv, February 11, 2015. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Heads of the four parties comprising the Joint List (from left to right) Ayman Odeh of Hadash, Masud Ganaim of Ra’am, Jamal Zahalka of Balad and Ahmad Tibi of Ta’al, Tel Aviv, February 11, 2015. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Ganaim said they the Joint List is being portrayed as anti-Jewish and anti-Israel, but that any Jewish citizen who values equality and pluralism and who wants a “sane” country should support them. “We want the Hebrew public to hear us. We want to give a calming message.”

Tibi explicitly said that an end to the occupation is one of the party’s main issues.

All four men expressed confidence that the party will garner 15 mandates, noting that if voter turnout in the Arab sector is at least as high as Jewish turnout (67 percent in the last election), then they are guaranteed 15 Knesset seats. Most polls have the List at 12 or 13 seats currently.

MK Haneen Zoabi, who is a waiting for a decision by the Central Elections Committee on a Likud and Yisrael Beitenu petition to disqualify her from the election on Thursday, was noticeably absent. Aida Touma-Suliman of Hadash, the first woman on the list, in the 5th slot, was in the audience. She only got up to the podium to join the four men after she was asked a question about women’s rights.

Touma-Suliman said that women’s rights are an integral part of the slate’s platform, and that she will treat every issue that comes up in the Knesset — not just specifically women’s issues — with “gender glasses.” When someone in the audience asked, “what about gay rights?” neither she nor any of the men responded.

Their campaign launch in Arabic will take place this weekend in Nazareth.

Related:
Interview with Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka
Israeli media coverage: An election with no Arabs?

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    1. Kolumn4

      Yes, the “Joint Arab List”. Home for all Jews that would prefer to live as a persecuted minority in an Arab Muslim country that is likely to turn out like Iraq or Syria. Home for all Jews that wish to vote for politicians that wish to see Israel destroyed and don’t believe that murdering Jewish teenagers is terrorism. Very appealing indeed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        Murdering Jewish teenagers is terrorism, but murdering Gazan teenagers is simply self-defence, I assume you will argue. Or is it that state crimes are much more acceptable than individual crimes? With such double standards you must be an antisemite, or is it that delegitimization, demonization, and double standards towards Israel is antisemitism, but delegitimization, demonization and double standards directed towards Palestinians is simply hunky-dory?

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn5

          Lets start by us both agreeing that murdering three Jewish teenagers for political purposes is in fact terrorism. Some of the candidates on this ‘progressive’ list that is trying to appeal to Jewish voters can’t even bring themselves to accept that. So, a Jew voting for such a party is giving their support to the view that it is legitimate to murder Jewish civilians in cold blood. What kind of a Jewish idiot would do that, other than perhaps Larry Derfner?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            What a cooked up phoney baloney pseudo-issue you and Netanyahu want to “start with.” No let’s NOT “start” there. You’re all slanderers. Into what illegal settlement do your fascist kolumns march into next? Don’t tell us, we know.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn5

            So, you too are one of those people that think it is not terrorism to kill Jewish teenagers. Good to know. I presume were you able to vote here your vote would go to Ms. Zoabi and her merry band of supporters of terrorism. Fortunately there are only a few hundred Jews in Israel that are so stupid so as to vote for people that would like to see them dead or gone.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            As I said, you’re s slanderer. Standard technique. Yours and Bibi’s.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Anti-Zionist saboteurs are a closed clique of detached elitists who conspire with foreign enemies to stick knives in the army’s back – sound familiar?

            By Chemi Shalev
            Published 21:58 11.02.15
            If you like the New Israel Fund, you’re toast. If you support J Street, you’re out. If you’ve ever whispered a word of sympathy for conscientious objection or considered the pros and cons of boycotting settlements, you’re done. If you vote for the Zionist Union, you’re an anti-Zionist. If you read the wrong newspaper, you’re suspect. If you think Obama is right and Netanyahu is wrong, you’re a potential traitor and a self-hating Jew.

            This has been the underlying theme of right-wing rhetoric in recent years, but it has escalated dramatically in this year’s election campaign. In order to rally the troops and drum up support from their ideological base, Prime Minister Netanyahu and others of his ilk have concocted a supposedly insidious and treacherous campaign being waged by the left, in collusion with anti-Semitic Europeans and malevolent Americans, aimed at debilitating Israel and striking a blow for its enemies.

            If the Cossacks cried, “Strike at the Jews and Save Russia,” the right-wing’s slogan is “Smite the leftists and save Israel.” Carrying all the hallmarks of classic anti-Semitic rhetoric, leftist saboteurs are described as a closed clique with an elitist mentality, as Netanyahu said of the Israel Prize judges he summarily disqualified this week. They stick knives in the backs of Israeli soldiers (New Israel Fund), erode America’s support for Netanyahu’s policies (J Street), aid and abet Iran’s nuclear program (Herzog), are funded and managed by hostile foreigners (leftist NGOs) and wield mysterious powers to manipulate the media (Yedioth Ahronoth).

            They are the secular, godless cosmopolitans, your detached universalists, the very same leftists “who have forgotten what it is to be Jews” as Netanyahu controversially told a venerated aging rabbi 17 years ago. He later apologized, saying he had no intention of placing anyone outside the Jewish tent. But times have changed, and Netanyahu knows that in today’s polarized politics and poisoned public atmosphere the same sentiment hardly merits a protest, while the electoral advantages of casting your political rivals as Vidkung Quislings and Benedict Arnolds have only increased with time….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Golumn6

            I would like to think that Chemi Shalev is right and that there is a witch hunt going on after foreign-funded leftists but I actually do my own research. For example I know where 972mag gets its money and for the most part it comes from foreign left-wing NGOs. The same is true of pretty much all the organizations on the Israeli far-left. In many cases money even comes directly from the EU and European governments whereby organizations are acting against their own country while in the pay of others. It is a sad situation which I hope will be remedied by the next Knesset.

            This is unfortunately one of those conspiracies that is not just true but very well documented because it is entirely in the open. The money that European governments send is declared in both their budgets and by the organizations that receive them. The only thing that remains is to identify a trend in the political leanings of the organizations that are being sponsored and it will come no surprise to the reader that those organizations are overwhelmingly leftist, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. The money is primarily used for interference in Israeli politics and for producing anti-Israeli propaganda to be used domestically and abroad. There is a conspiracy, it is not hidden, and it is very much the work of detached elitists that conspire with foreign enemies to stick knives in the country’s back. It can even sound familiar to you, but in this case it happens to be entirely true.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            This is downright comical, written as if no one had ever heard of Sheldon Adelson! And slanderous again. Everyone who does not cheer on the occupation is a traitor in your book. That old knife in the back. You confirm everything Shalev writes about the Right. Keep running Golumn.

            Reply to Comment
          • MuslimJew

            “Lets start by us both agreeing that murdering three Jewish teenagers for political purposes is in fact terrorism”

            No, let’s start by agreeing the following: the Palestinians can forgive you for killing their children. But they cannot forgive you for forcing them to kill your children. And you will only have peace with the Palestinians when you love your children more than you hate the Palestinians.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Mikesailor

      No, a home for all Jews who wish to join the rest of humanity and disavow the ghetto mentality prevalent in Israel. Why would you think that equality means “persecution”, K4? What is so wonderful about a “Jewish” state quickly becoming a pariah? Or do you really like the idea that being Jewish gives you the ability to steal from, brutalize and murder a defenseless indigenous population of non-Jews? By the way, what has happened to the Jews who set the Palestinian teenager on fire? Have they been convicted yet? Of terrorism? Have their residences been bulldozed and demolished yet? What were their sentences? Oh, right. Nothing has really happened with respect to these what…poor misunderstood “nationalistically-motivated” Zionists Jews, has it? Go climb back under your rock. The other slime misses you.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bar

      Any Israeli, especially Jewish, who reads the interview given here the other day by Jamal Zahalka on this site and votes for this list should go and live in the PA’s areas A or B or Jordan.

      http://972mag.com/a-palestinian-state-isnt-the-solution-but-its-a-step-in-the-right-direction-meet-mk-jamal-zahalka/102266/

      Israel’s democracy is without question one of the most enlightened in the world, specifically because it permits those who seek the destruction of the foundations underpinning the state to run and serve in office.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        You’re full of it Bar. The only “foundations underpinning the state” the current united Arab slate seeks to destroy are Jewish supremacist ones like Kolumn’s and yours. Kolumn is a declared supremacist–he wants unconditional abject surrender and subjugation. He said it. Like Japan at the end of WWII. He could not be clearer about it.

        http://www.trans-missions.org/checkpoint/print/haneen-zoabi.html
        “I am here in government to send a message that the Palestinians have accepted that we are citizens of Israel,” Zoabi says. “Problem is: the state can’t accept the fact that we are citizens and that the Israelis and Palestinians must live equally.”
        Zoabi supports a two-state solution consisting of one Palestinian state and another Israeli state that’s inclusive of both Jews and Arabs. But she’s afraid a third intifada will hit before a solution is ever reached.
        “I just want Israel to recognize that the Palestinians are not strangers,” she says. “We are an indigenous people. And this is our homeland.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Bluegrass Picker of Afula

          Just a few airplane tickets to send the Husseini family to South San Francisco; then the entire East Bank is the State of Palestine…..

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            When half the IDF General staff and Israeli cabinet can’t buy plane tickets to Europe for fear of being arrested you won’t be so smug. Then the entire East Bank of the Atlantic Ocean will be free of smug fascists like you. Where will your Kolumns march then?

            Reply to Comment
        • Solemn4

          The Americans were supremacists when they insisted on Japanese surrender after the Japanese were defeated?

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            The analogy is rotten from top to bottom and beginning to end so stop pushing it like you think you’ve found something clever. Only a declared fascist like you would think there is anything remotely similar in the two situations.

            Reply to Comment
      • MuslimJew

        “Israel’s democracy is without question one of the most enlightened in the world, specifically because it permits those who seek the destruction of the foundations underpinning the state to run and serve in office.”

        Wake me when “Israel’s democracy” specifically permits those millions of Palestinians who’ve been living under Israeli rule, for decades now, to vote for “those who seek the destruction of the foundations underpinning the state”.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Bryan

      “Israel’s democracy is without question one of the most enlightened in the world, specifically because it permits those who seek the destruction of the foundations underpinning the state to run and serve in office”.

      You are obviously a PR copywriter or a spin doctor or a simple chauvinist to be able to write such arrant nonsense. States change over time and democracy is simply the least worst way of managing that process peacefully. It is implicit in the concept of even the most imperfect democracy that it should not attempt to ban those who would change (“undermine or destroy”) the “pillars of the state” (a very fascist / communist concept). Thus Britain despite its very imperfect democracy has elected to parliament those who would change such “pillars of society” as the ascendancy of the high church, the dominance of the landed aristocracy, the influence of the old school tie, the role of private property, the ethos of militarism and colonialism and who would advocate nuclear disarmament, and would forge strong ties with erstwhile continental enemies. Where are the Israeli politicians (“enlightened democrats”) attempting to destroy (“change”) the role of the rabbinate, the ascendancy of the Ashkenazi elite, the influence of highly segregated and privileged educational institutions, the oligarchic power of a few ultra-rich families, the dominance of the military-colonial-nuclear complex or forge stronger ties with erstwhile enemies (or even with erstwhile allies like America, Turkey, Iran). America also permits those who would change its constitutional foundations to run for Congress and state legislatures: to undermine the separation of church and state, the role of the President to formulate and execute foreign policy, to undermine anti-trust legislation aimed at restricting mega-corporations and worst of all permits big donors and powerful interest groups to corrupt the spirit of a citizen focused egalitarianism.

      Reply to Comment