Azmi Bisharah to PA Leadership: We can Teach You a Lesson in Patriotism if You Wish
The Arab Member of Knesset, Azmi Bishara, blasted the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority after offcials in the authority called for voting for the Labor candidate Ehud Barak in the forthcoming Israeli elections, according to reports.
Bishara was quoted as telling reporters, after a massive demonstration organized by the Democratic Assembly led by him, “We know how to deal with our political issues and teach them a lesson in patriotism if they wish.”
Bishara criticized bitterly the Palestinian leadership’s call for voting in favor of Barak and described them as “people looking for a job.”
“It is not a nationalist act to address the Arab community in Israel through the Hebrew media,” said Bishara.
The MK made the angry statement after the Palestinian Minister of Information Yasser Abed Rabbo called on the Israeli Arabs to vote for Barak against Sharon considering that “defeating Sharon is the duty of every Palestinian.”
Abed Rabbo called on the Israeli "peace camp" Tuesday to vote against hardline opposition leader Ariel Sharon in next week's Israeli elections.
The political fight against Sharon must begin before the election and not after he winds," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio, quoted by AFP.
"What matters is the constitution of a united front to face up to Sharon's policies," Abu Rabbo said, adding that abstentions or blank votes would serve the Likud leader's interests.
The statement was seen as a call in particular to Israeli Arabs, who have threatened to withhold their votes for Barak because Israeli police killed 13 of their number last year during demonstrations in support of the Palestinian uprising, according to the agency. Barak belatedly tried to appease them on January 24, when he deplored the deaths.
Arab Israelis, Palestinians who stayed in Israel when the Jewish state was created in 1948, make up more than 18 percent of the total population and traditionally vote for Barak's Labour party.
"It is serious to say that there is nothing to choose between the two candidates," Aabed Rabbo said. "That means that the situation will not change when Sharon is in power." – Albawaba.com
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