Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq., and ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
It’s strange, troubling and hypocritical that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) condemned the technical merger of two small right-wing pro-Israel political parties, Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) – but remained silent about mergers of anti-Israel Arab parties led by Arab Knesset members who oppose the Jewish State’s existence and engage in outright treacherous conduct, including assisting Palestinian-Arab terrorists and inciting anti-Jewish terror.
It is also mystifying that these Jewish-American groups condemned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for encouraging small right-wing Israeli parties to merge, so that Israeli voters on the right are not disenfranchised (meaning votes for those groups would be wasted if they didn’t reach the threshold), while these Jewish-American groups said nothing about Palestinian Authority (PA) dictator Mahmoud Abbas brokering the merger of anti-Jewish, anti-Israel Arab parties running for the Knesset.
ZOA hopes that ADL, IPF, AIPAC and AJC will review the dangerous actions and statements of the Arab parties and their Knesset candidates discussed in this article, and direct their condemnation to those who oppose the State of Israel, and are truly racist and reprehensible, and a danger to the Jewish people and the Jewish State.
Background: In order to elect members of the Knesset (“MK”s), a political party must receive at least 3.5% of the public vote. Thus, when a political party fails to reach the 3.5% threshold, its votes are thrown out and its voters are disenfranchised. To avoid wasting votes, smaller parties can merge their slate lists during elections. In the 2015 Knesset election, the four major Arab parties merged onto the “Arab Joint List” – enabling the Arab Joint List to become the third largest party in the Knesset. Recently, several mergers were announced or confirmed for the upcoming 2019 Knesset elections:
- The Arab Communist party (Hadash) led by MK Ayman Odeh (who has been involved in inciting anti-Israel terror attacks) and the Arab Nationalist party (Ta’al) led by MK Ahmad (a/k/a Ahmed) Tibi (who was a senior advisor to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat) united on a single electoral ticket. Palestinian Authority (PA) dictator Mahmoud Abbas urged these parties to merge, to increase Arab representation in the Israeli Knesset. (See “Arab Parties Reach Deal for Joint Run – After PA Intervenes, Israel Nat’l News, Feb. 21, 2019.)
- The secular Arab Nationalist party Balad and the United Arab List Ra’am (consisting of the Islamic Movement and Arab Bedouin party) are running on a joint United Arab List ticket.
- Two left-wing Israeli parties are running on a new joint “Blue and White” ticket.
- The Bayit Yehudit (Jewish Home) party and the small Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) party agreed to a “technical merger” to avoid wasting right-leaning votes, with the intention that the parties will go their separate ways after the election. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu encouraged this arrangement, because disenfranchising voters on the right could result in turning Israel over to a left-wing government, at a time when Israel’s security is of paramount importance. This happened in 1992 when Rabin became Prime Minister over Shamir, despite the fact that the right-wing received more votes. This occurred because 4 small right-wing parties never reached the threshold.
Interestingly, Otzma Yehudit agreed to accept placement on the merged slate list that make it difficult for Otzma Yehudit members to actually be elected to the Knesset. So, in a sense, the critics of the merged slate list are raising “much ado about nothing.”
It’s deeply concerning that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), left-wing think tank Israel Policy Form (IPF), AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), as well as extreme left-wing groups such as New Israel Fund (NIF) and T’ruah, immediately condemned the Bayit Yehudi-Otzma Yehudit technical merger – and Otzma Yehudit candidates – while saying nothing about the merger of Arab parties’ and the Arab parties’ leaders and candidates who actually incite anti-Jewish terrorism.
ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt accused Otzma Yehudit leaders of “racism” and “intolerance” and “hate-filled rhetoric,” and complained that the union “legitimized” them, in a tweet on Wednesday – without mentioning a single specific to back up this name-calling.
Similarly, in an article praising the new left-wing “Blue and White” party, IPF wrote that “Netanyahu was working to bring the racist, neo-fascist, terrorist designates in Otzma Yehudit into the polite company of the rest of the Israeli right” – again, without backing up such Nazi-name-calling against Jewish candidates.
AJC issued a statement saying: “The views of Otzma Yehudit are reprehensible. They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel.” As with the other groups, there was no discussion of what Otzma’s actual views are or why they were “reprehensible.”
AJC’s statement also erroneously stated: “Ultimately, it is up to Israel’s Central Elections Commission to determine, as it has done in the past, whether Otzma Yehudit can be listed on the ballot on Election Day.” In fact, ultimately the decision is up to Israel’s Supreme Court, which previously ruled that Otzma Yehudit could run in the election.
AIPAC tweeted: “We agree with AJC. AIPAC has a longstanding policy not to meet with members of this racist and reprehensible party.” (See “AIPAC Criticizes Jewish Home-Otzma Yehudit Deal,” Israel Nat’l News, Feb. 22, 2019.)
ZOA has not been able to locate an Otzma Yehudit platform. However, we note that in 2015, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld Otzma Yehudit leader Baruch Marzel’s right to run for Knesset, when charges of “racism” were leveled against him. Marzel said after the Supreme Court ruling, “It has been proven there is no racism in my positions. This was the left trying to silence me.”
In response to AIPAC’s condemnation, Otzma Yehudit Knesset candidate Michael Ben-Ari asked AIPAC members to come home to Israel before interfering in the Knesset election, as follows:
“They dont [sic] live here, and they criticize us, as if they are on Mount Olympus. We call on AIPAC members to do the right and expected thing and return home to Israel before they involve themselves in elections. . . When they arrive here, they will be able to be partners in the crucial and existential decisions of those living in Israel, and we will be happy for them to make decisions together with Israel’s citizens.”
In any event, ZOA’s major concern is that ADL, IPF, AIPAC, AJC, NIF, T’ruah, etc., while harshly criticizing Otzma Yehudit, have all been silent about the terror-fomenting, hatred-spewing anti-Israel, Arab party leaders and parties running for Knesset, including Aymen Odeh and Ahmed Tibi, and about PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas brokering the merger of the Arab Communist Hadash party and Arab Nationalist Ta’al party.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed related concerns on Facebook (on Februry 23). He called the Left’s criticism about the Otzma Yehudit-Habayit Hayehudi-National Union merger “hypocrisy” and “double moral standards,” because the Left “criticizes an alliance on the Right with right-wing parties while the Left is working to bring radical Islamists into the Knesset to set up its own alliance.” PM Netanyahu also wrote that in 1999, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak participated in an election conference with the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah, Labor and Meretz party leaders, and MK Azmi Bishara, the accused spy for Hezbollah. Netanyahu also wrote that former Labor party leader Isaac Herzog sought a surplus voting agreement with the Joint Arab List, and said that the Arab MKs were legitimate representatives in the government. Netanyahu then commented: “A merger with right-wing parties is unacceptable but working to bring in inciters and spies is legitimate. That’s the height of absurdity.” (See “PM Slams AIPAC Criticism of Alliance with Otzma Yehudit,” Israel HaYom, Feb. 24, 2019.)
New Right party candidate Caroline Glick also tweeted a similar concern, saying: “I don’t recall @aipac and the @ajc expressing misgivings when leftist Israeli government’s existed by the grace of Arab parties who support Israel’s annihilation.”
Here is a small sampling of the numerous anti-Israel statements and actions by the Arab parties, and their MKs and candidates for Israel’s Knesset. The treachery of Arab MKs and Knesset candidates and their parties should raise real alarms and concerns, and should be condemned by every Jewish leader and organization:
MK Ayman Odeh (Arab Communist party Hadash) – 1st position on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List:
- In January 2019, the chairman of the Joint Arab list, Hadash (Arab Communist) party leader MK Ayman Odeh, praised notorious hardline anti-Israel Arab Balad party MK Haneen Zoabi, for opposing Israel as “the state of the Jews,” and for promoting “the right to resist the occupation, and the natural right of native [Palestinians] in the face of the colonial mentality.” MK Odeh also stated: “I always stood by Haneen in her struggles with the Right and the media.” (See “Ayman Odeh: I Always Stood By Haneen In Attacks By The Right And The Media,” Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2019.) MK Zoabi’s horrendous record, further discussed below, includes participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla during which terrorists attacked Israeli weapons inspectors, using knives and chains; stating that Hamas’s murder of 3 Jewish teenagers was not terrorism; visiting and honoring families of Palestinian-Arab terrorists who murdered Jews; and admitting that she was “using the Knesset to advance the Palestinian struggle.”
- In August 2018, MK Ayman Odeh, along with Arab MKs Ahmad Tibi and Yousef Jabarin, helped lead an anti-Israel, anti-nation-state-law demonstration in Tel Aviv. The demonstration included numerous Palestinian flags waving, and shouts of the mantra: “With blood and spirit, we’ll free Palestine.” A Jerusalem Post editorialnoted: “The slogans were negating Israel’s very existence as the Jewish state. . . . It was a demonstration against the Zionist entity and enterprise.”
- In September 2018, MK Odeh met with European Union Foreign Minister Frederica Mogherini, and asked the EU to condemn Israel’s democratically-passed nation-state law. (See “Odeh Claims: European Union Supports Us,” by Nitzan Keidar, Brussels, Israel Nat’l News, Sept. 4, 2018.) This is equivalent to a U.S. Congressperson enlisting a foreign government to oppose U.S. laws – something that would be immediately viewed as treasonous.
- In October 2017, MK Ayman Odeh called Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniyeh to congratulate him on the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. MK Odeh then boasted on twitter about his telephone call with Hamas’s leader. (See “Arab MK Congratulates Hamas Leader,” Israel Nat’l News, Oct. 3, 2017; “‘Ayman Odeh is a Terrorist in a Suit’: MK Oren Hazan blasts Joint List chairman who called Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh,” by Hezki Baruch, Israel Nat’l News, Oct. 4, 2017.)
- In January 2017, MK Ayman Odeh incited a Bedouin/Islamic Jihad terrorist car-ramming attack on Israelis. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan explained that MK Odeh was at the scene, fanning the flames of hate and inciting violence. (See “Public Security Minister: Odeh Responsible for Incitement,” Israel Nat’l News, Jan. 18, 2017.)
- In December 2016, MK Ayman Odeh falsely portrayed Arab Balad faction MK Basel Ghattas’s assistance to convicted Islamic Jihad murderers as harmless. MK Basel Ghattas was caught on videotape, arrested and subsequently convictedand sentenced to two years in prison, for exploiting his parliamentary immunity from prison-visit searches, to smuggle in 15 cell phones, SIM cards and security information to Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Israeli prisons, so that these murderers could continue issuing terror directives from behind bars. One of the terrorists whom MK Ghattas met with was Walid Daka, who had abducted and murdered 19-year-old IDF soldier Moshe Tamam. MK Ayman Odeh said that Ghattas should not have broken the law, but then tried to twist this dangerous security breach by a Knesset member into simply trying to “ensur[e] that Palestinian security prisoners enjoyed the same rights as Israeli security prisoners, and were able to talk to their families.” MK Odeh also argued: “I don’t think he [Ghattas] wanted to harm security.”
- In February 2016, during an Israeli Channel 2 interview, MK Ayman Odeh opposed the Knesset’s suspension of 3 Arab Knesset members (MKs Zoabi, Zahalka and Ghattas) who met with and honored the families of Palestinian-Arab terrorists who murdered Jews. Odeh then accused Jewish MKs, including MK Avi Dichter, of sending people to murder Arafat and the Hamas terrorist group’s co-founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel al-Rantisi.
MK Avi Dichter responded: “I’m proud of the opportunity I was given to defend the citizens of Israel, including Israeli Arabs and Odeh himself, from murderous terrorism that was backed by those people who Odeh defended. With this unfortunate remark, Odeh turned himself into a representative of the Hamas leadership in the Israeli Knesset and abandoned the security of the Israeli citizens- Jews and Arabs alike.” (See “Odeh: ‘Dichter Sent People to Murder Arafat’,” by Becca Noy, Jersualem Online, Feb. 29, 2016.)
- In September 2016, MK Ayman Odeh endorsed all 13 Arab Joint List MKs’ unanimous boycott of dovish former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres’s funeral. MK Odeh said that he had no place in a national day of mourning for “a man who built up Israel’s defenses.” Even PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas and then-U.S. President Barack Obama attended Peres’s funeral. “Israel’s Arab Leader Defends Party’s Boycott of Peres Funeral,” Times of Israel, Sept. 30, 2016.)
- In October 2015, MK Ayman Odeh publicly endorsed anti-Israel violence, after Palestinian-Arab terrorists shot and murdered an innocent American-Israeli couple Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, while the Henkins’ four small children watched from their car’s backseat – one of the first murders in the 2015-2019 wave of Palestinian-Arab terror against innocent Jewish and American civilians. During a radio interview, MK Ayman Odeh was asked if he supports violent struggle against Israel, and rock-throwing. After initial ambiguous statements, endorsing an undefined “popular way” but not “armed struggle,” Odeh then stated, “I always blame the occupation for being guilty. I cannot tell the [Palestinian-Arab] nation how to struggle, where and which target to throw the rock. I do not put red lines on the Arab Palestinian nation.” (See “Odeh: I Do Not Put Limits On The Palestinian Struggle Against ‘Occupation’: Odeh: I do not put red lines on the Arab Palestinian nation in their struggle against occupation,” by Ariel Ben Solomon and Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 6, 2015.)
- In December 2015, MK Ayman Odeh refused an invitation to meet with Jewish-American leaders from 51 organizations at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, because the Conference shares offices with the Jewish Agency, which is responsible for Aliyah (Jewish immigration) into Israel. Odeh’s spokesperson explained that Odeh opposes Jewish immigration into Israel. (See “Arab-Israeli Lawmaker in US Refuses to Enter Offices Shared With Jewish Agency,” by Ron Kampeas and Marcy Oster, JTA, Dec. 10, 2015.)
Union of Reform Judaism Movement (URJ) leaders nonetheless met with MK Odeh at another site. Afterwards, URJ leader Rick Jacobs gushed: “MK Odeh has an inspiring vision for a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians.” (Id.) ZOA wonders how someone who opposes Jewish immigration into Israel, and who endorsed and incited Palestinian-Arab violence against innocent Jews, could have an “inspiring vision for a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians.”
MK Ahmad Tibi (Arab Nationalist party Ta’al) – 2nd on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List
- In November 2018, the Arab Nationalist Party Ta’al leader, MK Ahmad Tibi retweeted PA official Saeb Erakat’s tweet accusing Israel’s prime minister of advocating “jungle laws” and accusing Israelis of being “historical criminals” who use their power to “justify their crimes.”
- In a tweet in October 2018, MK Ahmad Tibi called the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) the “Israeli Occupation Forces,” and accused the IDF of “a heinous crime.” The same month, Tibi also tweeted about an invented “agricultural terrorism” plot, and compared Israel to “apartheid” South Africa. Tibi’s false “apartheid” charge is especially absurd coming from someone who is a member of Israel’s parliament. In real apartheid, minorities were not permitted to attain such posts.
- In March 2018, MK Ahmad Tibi joined Palestinian-Arabs at an anti-Israel “occupation” conference in London, and declared that Israel had no right to determine its capital. Tibi stated: “The most dangerous element of Trump’s embassy decision is that it says Israel has the right to decide where its capital is, simply because parliament and the Supreme Court are there.” (See “US Jerusalem Move is ‘Official Adoption of Israeli Narrative’: Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi Joins Palestinians in UK to Condemn US Stance After Embassy Relocation Brought Forward,” by Alia Al Ghussain, Al Jazeera, Mar. 4, 2018.)
- In 2012, MK Ahmad Tibi further evidenced his hatred for the Jewish state by sending a letter to Israel’s Science and Technology Ministry, objecting to naming a space center after Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. Ramon had tragically died when the space shuttle Columbia exploded. (See “ZOA: Arab MK Tibi’s Condemning Naming Space Center After Israeli Hero Ilan Ramon Shows Hatred of Jewish State,” June 20, 2012. This article lists additional anti-Israel actions by Tibi.)
- In 2011, MK Ahmad Tibi proposed a Knesset bill labeling Israel’s creation a “Naqba” (catastrophe), and forbidding Israeli government funding of any organization that denies that Israel’s creation was a catastrophe. (See “ZOA Condemns Disloyalty of Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi Promoting Israel’s Creation As Catastrophe,” July 6, 2011.)
- In 2008, MK Ahmad Tibi attended a conference in Doha, Qatar, as a representative of “Palestine.” Israeli Kadima Minister, Majalli Whbee, said, “It’s time for Ahmad Tibi to decide which country he represents. . . He cannot be a member of one nation’s parliament while representing another at international conventions.” MK Avigdor Lieberman called Tibi “a fifth column – in every sense of the word. Tibi should transfer from the Israeli Knesset to the Palestinian Authority’s parliament in Ramallah. He is using his position as an MK to inflict harm upon the State of Israel and destroy is from within, as is proven by this case.” Also, during his address at the Doha conference, Tibi falsely accused Israeli establishing “an apartheid state.” (See Id., and “At Doha Forum, MK Tibi listed as ‘Palestinian’,” YNet News, Apr. 15, 2008.)
- MK Ahmad Tibi was active in the PLO throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and was a senior advisor to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat from 1993-1999 – a period when anti-Israel terror attacks and suicide bombings, plotted by Arafat and those surrounding him, dramatically increased. Tibi also represented the PLO/PA in the Wye River negotiations against Israel in 1998.
MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Arab Communist party Hadash) – 3rd on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List:
- On February 20, 2019, Arab MK Aida Touma-Sliman, falsely tweeted that Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked “called for murdering Palestinian mothers.” MK Touma-Sliman is a member of the Arab Communist (Hadash) party, and is third on the joint Arab Hadash-Ta’al slate list, after MK Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi. MK Touma-Sliman constantly tweets against Israel, refers to Israel as “the occupation,” joins anti-Israel demonstrations, and promotes anti-Israel lies.
- In February 2018, MK Touma-Sliman rallied for Israeli draft dodgers outside a recruitment base in Ramat Gan, Israel, and falsely accused Israel of aggression against Syria. MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu party) demanded a criminal investigation, and stated: “Another member of the [Arab] Joint List exploits his immunity to evade a five-year prison sentence for incitement to evade the draft.” (See “Outrage as Arab MK Rallies for Draft Dodgers: MK Aida Touma Sliman takes part in draft dodgers’ rally. MK Oded Forer urges A-G to open a criminal investigation,” Israel Nat’l News, Feb. 12, 2018.)
- In June 2017, MK Aida Touma-Sliman spoke against Israel at an Israel-bashing United Nations conference entitled “50 years of occupation.” She accused Israel of “oppression of an entire people,” and “apartheid,” and treasonously urged U.N. members to “exert significant pressure on Israel.”
Jewish MKs and Israeli officials were rightfully outraged by such a treasonous act: MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu chair) stated that Touma-Sliman’s “obsession with hurting the country has crossed every line. . . It is too bad that instead of taking advantage of the situation to condemn the genocide in Syria, she decided to attack the only country in the Middle East where Arab women have the same rights as men.” MK Oren Hazan said: “if there was an apartheid regime here, she would have been locked up a long time ago.” Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon stated that it was “shameful that a member of Knesset is abusing her position and is working together with the Palestinians to harm Israel at the U.N.” (See “Israeli Arab MK Calls Israel ‘Apartheid State’ at UN Conference,” Israel HaYom, July 2, 2017.)
MK Osama Saadi (Arab Nationalist Ta’al party)– 4th on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List:
- During an interview on Israeli Channel 2 television in July 2017, MK Osama Saadi (Arab Nationalist Ta’al party) threatened a “third intifada” (deadly terror wave against Israelis) and that “the whole Arab world will rise up as one” against Israel if the Israeli government does not remove metal detectors it installed at entrances to the Temple Mount compound following a terror attack there on July 14, 2017. During the July 14 terror attack, three Arab-Israeli terrorists used guns that they had smuggled onto the Temple Mount to murder two Israeli police officers. After Israel erected the metal detectors to try to prevent future similar terror attacks, Arab MKs from Saadi’s party (possibly including Saadi) stirred up riots in the Old City, including inciting protestors to try to break through a temporary checkpoint and throw rocks and bottles at Israeli police officers. (See “Arab MK: ‘Whole Arab World Will Rise Up’ If Israel Doesn’t Remove Metal Detectors,”Times of Israel, July 21, 2017.)
Anti-Zionist Offer Cassif (Jewish slot in the Arab Communist party Hadash) – 5th on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List:
- Extreme anti-Zionist Professor Offer Cassif (also spelled Kassif) is the token Jew on the Arab Communist Hadash party slate, and number 5 on the combined Hadash-Ta’al Arab slate. Slate leader MK Ayman Odeh backed Cassif’s candidacy, enabling Cassif to overwhelmingly defeat three less-extreme Jewish Communists for the token Jewish spot on the Hadash-Ta’al slate. MK Ayman lauded the “special importance” and “influence” that anti-Zionist “Nakba” statements have when they are “uttered by a Jew.”
- Cassif’s statements and positions are so horrendous that one commenter suggested that the Hadash party should be re-named the “hate Israel party.” Cassif calls Netanyahu an “arch murderer”; calls Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked “neo-Nazi scum”; calls Jews who visit the Temple Mount (the Jewish people’s holiest site) a “cancer with metastases that have to be eradicated”; called Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev “repulsive gutter contamination” on Facebook; and calls new IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, a “war criminal.” Cassif also absurdly calls Gaza a “concentration camp,” and falsely accuses Israel of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” against Palestinian-Arabs. Cassif also falsely accuses Israel of shooting people in the back; and falsely asserted “Israel commits murder on a daily basis.” Cassif also wrote “Sieg Heil” on Facebook, in response to someone who endorsed Netanyahu.
- In 2017, students in Cassif’s Hebrew University preparatory class taped Cassif comparing Israeli policies and laws to those of Nazi Germany. Cassif complained about the students taping him, but then added that he stands behind his Israel-Nazi comparisons.
- During the First Intifada, Cassif tore an Israeli flag and emptied bags of blood in Hebrew University’s corridors, declared, ‘There is no difference between Jewish and Arab blood,’ and likened Israeli soldiers to terrorists. During his recent Haaretz interview, Cassif responded “of course” when asked whether “today’s Hamas commanders who are carrying out attacks on [Israeli] soldiers will be heroes of the future Palestinian state?” Cassif also falsely calls Zionism “a colonialist movement”, and “racist in ideology and in practice”, and “Jewish supremacy”; asserts that “Zionism also sustains anti-Semitism”; and claims that most BDS people are not anti-Semites.
Cassif also opposes Israel’s Law of Return (which enables Jews to return to the Jewish homeland), and instead advocates for a “Right of Return” for Arabs to move into Israel. Ignoring over 3,000 years of Jewish history in Israel, including in Judea/Samaria, Cassif claims that Israel is the Arab-Palestinian homeland, “not Seinfeld’s.”
America-hating, Israel-hating diehard Communist Cassif also calls for nationalizing private Israeli companies, by transferring them to the state or workers. He also blames “American imperialism” for Venezuela’s disastrous economy; stated: “the main enemy is truly American imperialism and its handmaidens,” and accuses the United States of invading and employing “bullying, fascist forces.” (See “The Knesset Candidate Who Says Zionism Encourages anti-Semitism and Calls Netanyahu ‘Arch-Murderer’,” Haaretz, Feb. 16, 2019; and “Hebrew U Professor: Israel Today Similar To Nazi Germany,” by Yocheved Lauren Laufer, Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2017.)
MK Yousef Jabarin (Arab Communist party Hadash) – 6th on Joint Hadash-Ta’al Arab Slate List:
- In June 2018, Arab MK Yousef Jabarin (Arab Communist party Hadash) joined the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement’s efforts to derail an Argentinian-Israeli soccer match in Israel. MK Jabarin abused his position as an MK to write to letter to the Argentinian ambassador to Israel, urging Argentina to cancel its national team’s match with Israel. Jabarin wrote that holding the soccer match “sends a dangerous message to the Israeli government that the world is ignoring its gross violations of human rights,” and stated that Argentinian star player Lionel Messi “can not turn his back on Palestinian victims.” (See “Arab MK Urges Argentina to Cancel Friendly Soccer Match Against Israel,” Times of Israel, June 2, 2018.)
- On October 12, 2015, a few weeks after the beginning of the 2015-2019 wave of terror, in which Palestinian-Arab terrorists murdered 77 innocent Israelis and Americans, and maimed another 1195 innocent Israelis and Americans (thus far), after PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas called for spilling blood to prevent Jews and Christians from “defiling” Al-Aqsa Mosque with their “filthy feet,” MK Jabarin joined in this incitement. MK Jabarin gave a Knesset speech blaming the Jewish victims of Palestinian-Arab terror attacks, and inciting further attacks, saying, among other things: “The main reason for the current wave of violence is the ongoing provocation by settlers and right-wing activists, who have significantly increased their entries to the al-Aqsa mosque compound with the backing of the government. . . .” (See translation of Jabarin’s speech at “MK Jabarin: “Stop Being Fooled by This Government of Deception,” Communist Party of Israel website, Oct. 21, 2015.)
The Arab Balad Party:
The “hard-line” Arab Nationalist Balad party has elected to the Knesset one notorious traitor-to-Israel after another. Alarmingly, the Balad party’s primary convention earlier this month glorified and received greetings from two of these former MKs: Azmi Bishara– a fugitive from Israeli justice who fled from Israel while he was under investigation for spying for Hezbollah (providing Israeli security information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War), and Basel Ghattas– who is in prison for exploiting his Knesset immunity to smuggle contraband – 15 cell phones, SIM cards and notes – to jailed Palestinian-Arab Islamic Jihad terrorists who murdered Jews – to enable the terrorists to direct terror operations while in prison.
Also concerning, Balad’s February 2, 2019 primary proceedings opened with the Balad Chairman, MK Jamal Zahalka declaring that Balad “is not part of the Israeli left, but is an inseparable part of the Palestinian national movement,” and the singing of the Palestinian national anthem. The anthem speaks of revenge, crossing the borders, struggling for “Palestine, my country” with fire and guns, and swearing to live and expire as revolutionaries until they are “back” in Palestine. (Can you imagine any U.S. primary convention opening with such a disloyal statement, and the anthem of a group that seeks to destroy and supplant the United States?)
Balad party Chairman Zahalka also called on PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas to lift sanctions on Hamas in Gaza, and to end security coordination with Israel; and condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
The Balad primary convention elected anti-Israel propagandist Mtanes Shihadeh to the first spot on Balad’s Knesset slate list. Shihadeh promptly confirmed (to Times of Israel) that Balad is “one branch of the many branches of the Palestinian national movement.” Shihadeh also set forth his “I’ll have my cake and eat yours too” version of a “2-state solution”: a Palestinian-Arab state next to a non-Jewish “state for all.”
(See “Balad Chair: Party is ‘Part of Palestinian National Movement,’ PM a War Criminal,” Times of Israel, Feb. 2, 2019; and “Ex-MK Imprisoned for Smuggling Cellphones to Terrorists Denied Early Release: Parole board says Basel Ghattas has failed to expressed ‘genuine remorse’ for actions, hasn’t enrolled in rehabilitation,” by Michael Bachner, Times of Israel, Nov. 13, 2018.)
Balad’s lead MK-candidate Mtanes Shihadeh writes pseudo-academic articles about “decolonizing the Palestinian economy,” falsely accusing Israel of “marginalization” of its Arab population and “consistent exploitation of Arab natural resources and capital.”
In addition to Hezbollah spy Azmi Bishara and smuggler-to-Islamic-Jihad Basel Ghattas, another notorious Balad MK is MK Haneen Zoabi: In 2015, Arab Balad Party leader, MK Haneen Zoabi, stated in a pre-election interview with Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen news network: “I don’t see myself as an Israeli Member of Knesset, but as a Palestinian. We are using the Knesset to advance the Palestinian struggle… [and] we are doing this from within ‘Occupied Palestine.’” (See “Using the Knesset as a Weapon Against Israel,” Israel Today, Mar. 16, 2015.) Zoabi’s hateful record also included: participating in the infamous 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, to break the Gaza weapons blockade, during which Turkish IHH terrorists used knives and chains to mount an unprovoked attack on the Israeli weapons inspectors; attacking a Knesset usher; writing that the Hamas murder of 3 Jewish teenagers in 2014 was not terrorism, and justifying Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. MK Zoabi also joined with Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas to meet and honor the families of Palestinian-Arab terrorists who murdered Jews. (Thankfully, Zoabi is not running for re-election in 2019, but as described above, her replacement seems no better.)
ZOA sincerely hopes that ADL, AIPAC, AJC and IPF, etc. will all direct their condemnation towards the Arab parties and candidates that seek Israel’s destruction.