The Zeitgeist Politics

Global Politics with a focus on The Middle East

Israel bans Arab parties from the Knesset

with 5 comments

“This is a fascist, racist state.”

Not my words, these are the words of Arab delegates associated with the United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad parties that have now been barred from the Knesset for supposed accusations of “incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

This is the supposed “only democracy in the Middle East.” I’m looking for the Israelis to stand up and declare some shame, declare some disgust at what their Government is doing, at the havoc they are wreaking. Let’s forget the unforgettable assault on Gaza for a minute and look at this move in isolation, does it not amount to out-and-out racism and discrimination? I would like to add that not only did the prectiable parties support this move, it was put forward by the ultra-right parties Yisrael Beiteinu and National Union-National Religious Party, but it was supported by Labor and Kadima, the supposedly centre-left (!) and centrist parties respectively. 

So now this means that Arab citizens of Israel cannot vote for any party controlled by Arabs and can only run for office in Jewish parties, most of which are now openly hostile to their political existence. Great. And all this because the Arab parties oppose the War on Gaza perhaps? So the appropriate response is to declare war on 20% of the population? Was the vote not one of the first things taken from Jews during Hitler’s rise? Oh, the irony.

Of course I know that this will be struck down by the Supreme Court (as most of the online pundits and even politicans are saying) reducing this move to pure theatre… but what sort of theatre is this? Do we see such moves in modern Western Parliaments? No. If Israel wants to be seen as an equal it needs to act like one and not regress into barbarism.


Written by alexlobov

January 13, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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5 Responses

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  1. Nice review to a problematic that interest me as a defender of democracy in my country Tunisia…
    the parties runned by arab israelis leaders are not representative of the 20% of israelis…these leaders have sometimes some opinions that embarass them. But, let me tell me that this space of freedom that those arabs have they dont have it anywhere else in all the countries surrending Israel.
    Isreal is a country built and “designed” for jews but learned how to live in coexistance with citizens of different religions.
    When a minority is refusing Israel’s right to exist, its somehow logical that in the same jewish country, an intention of a ban is declared and in this democratic country other institution in making the counter-balance of the same voices.
    what’s better to be banned for refusing the existance of israel in Israel with counter-balance force ?
    or to be banned for refusing or discussing the Shoah in France with nothing in the other hand ??
    which country is closer to democracy ?
    I’m speaking of course in a contest totally isolated from the crimes, agressions and state terrorism that israel is comitting every day, civilian deads and thousands of casualties.

    once again…nice review


    January 14, 2009 at 11:22 am

  2. Hey Ali,

    Thanks for your comment!

    From my perspective, these parties have been a part of Israeli politics and government in one form or another for a long time and they understand their responsibility to their constituents (the Arab minority within Israel).

    The only reason why Jewish politicians are claiming that they are refusing Israel’s right to exist is because they have been organising protests and demonstrations against Israel’s actions in Gaza. However this is not a denial to Israel’s right to exist, it’s simply an alternative opinion on the course of action it should take – and a very legitimate one, might i add, consider the carnage being wrought there.

    Basically, considering that this will almost certainly be overturned by the Supreme Court, I think the main reason for this was political posturing. The Right gets to yell loudest and impress its conservative voter base. The Centre gets to look hawkish as is the current trend now. And the Left gets to beat its chest about the injustice which is what its voters also want. Israeli politics is a very complicated thing, my friend.


    January 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm

  3. Thanks for some of the recent updates… I can’t seem to get my head around what’s going on and what the reasons are behind it. Plus the papers here can be a little bit biased… but I guess the general feeling is that Isreal has done something really wrong in attacking Gaza…

    I think world politics is even more complicated!

    By the way, did you see the Golden Globes this year? Some Isreali film won for Best Foreign Feature… and after the director had made a somewhat pro-Isreal speech, they cut to a shot of Glenn Close looking truly disgusted and far from clapping. Haha…


    January 15, 2009 at 3:40 am

  4. oops… I don’t know why but my typing has been retarded… I meant IsrAEL not IsrEAL… haha… duh


    January 15, 2009 at 3:41 am

  5. hey mate, yeah it’s complicated feel free to hit me up on gtalk and I can give you the lowdown (or at least my version of it as objective as it can be hehe).

    i didnt see the globes (no access to a TV here sadly) but i did follow the liveblogs and all that… slumdog! the film you’re talking about is ‘waltz with bashir’ which is actually a really interesting sounding film (though i haven’t seen it). It’s Israeli but it’s shot from the perspective of an Israeli soldier recollecting the events of a very controversial massacre that occurred in Southern Lebanon in 1982 during which the Israeli Army supposedly turned their backs while a Lebanese Christian militia massacred an entire refugee camp. The film is actually quite objective, from what I hear, but I’d like to see it for myself…


    January 15, 2009 at 4:16 am

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