9 thoughts on “Israel Bans Arab Parties from Election, Is This Iran? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I find some of your reaction to this endearingly naive. This is completely in keeping with Israel’s general attitude towards its Arab citizens – after all burdening them with a raft of discriminations that can ever prevent them from enjoying the same rights as Jewish Israelis, it is only to be expected that autonomous political parties that seek to represent their political grievances would be restricted as well.

    You make the mistake of thinking that Israel is like Western democracies; it is not, it is a Zionist democracy. Everything will be permitted as long as the fundamentals of Zionism are not questioned; this is the reason that Jewish parties that have no respect for democracy will never be banned (unless they start advocating large-scale violence against other Jews) while Arab parties (like the old non-Zionist Communist parties in Israel) will face numerous obstacles including occasional attempts to ban them. This makes sense from a Zionist perspective though because none of these parties really beleives in Zionism and they advocate policies which will severely undermine it.

  2. I should clarify though that I am a bit unfair above; parties that advocate violence against anybody (Jews or Arabs)are banned in Israel as is shown by the example of the only currently banned party – Kach.

  3. And get this from Eitan Cabel:

    “It’s true we said we wouldn’t ban, but [Balad leader MK Jamal] Zahalka’s statement that he was in touch with Bishara led me to think that we must draw the line somewhere,” he said. “I’m making no apologies because I fight more than most in the Knesset for equal rights for Arabs. I know it won’t stand up in the Supreme Court, and rightly so, because there is no evidentiary basis for the [committee’s] decision.”

    So he openly admits to the ban being completely frivolous and yet voted for it to make a political point. AFAIK Azmi Bishara is still the head of Balad (and hasn’t been convicted of anything), so to censure Jamal Zahalka for being “in touch with Bishara” is pure populist electioneering.

  4. Arabs in Greater Palestine formed three independent entities
    the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

    the valiant Hamas republic of Gaza

    and some de-facto satrapy of Mr Abbas on the West Bank

    Israeli Arabs may find these three conduits (like Ahmed Tibi did) more than enough to assert themselves

    1. Israeli Arabs may find these three conduits (like Ahmed Tibi did) more than enough to assert themselves

      Magnanimous of you to suggest that on their behalf. But I think they may have their own ideas on the subject much as it might inconvenience Israeli Jews. It might be that they’d prefer to live in the land where there fathers & mothers lived & gain full rights as citizens in that land rather than the other places you so kindly suggest that they move to.

  5. Richard,

    This looks like a major crackdown typically of past democracies of whom they view as a “fifth column”. The major example that springs to mind is the total snuffing of the communist parties in the US and the jailing of Eugene Debs back in WW1. It does posit many questions as to what the true purpose of this is since that (a) the two Arab parties have been rather ineffectual in blocking any initiative employed by the three major Israeli parties (b) the Arab Knesset members are far from the ideologues that live in the Diaspora and surely the Knesset members know this and (c) it takes the mettle out of the “democracy” line that Israel imbues the world with over and over.

    Has there been any evidence at all that links the Arab Knesset members to the parties Israel is supposedly fighting?

  6. Richard:

    The Arabs may stay where they are.
    However their patriotic feelings may be channeled through the three Palestinian states.
    Sometimes people even move to other states (like in the US) to exercise their dreams.
    As for Gaza just imagine all the $$ spent on the arms could be given to people, to the Gaza airport, to the Gaza seaport; no need to open any border crossings, Gaza may become a new Dubai

  7. Good news.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/21/AR2009012103700.html

    Electoral Ban on Arab Parties Lifted

    Israel’s top court on Wednesday overruled a parliamentary panel that had barred two Arab parties from running in next month’s general elections.

    The Central Elections Committee voted Jan. 12 to disqualify the parties, Balad and Ta’al, after hearing arguments that they identified with the Jewish state’s enemies and campaigned against Zionism.

    Calling the ban undemocratic and racist, Arab lawmakers appealed to the High Court of Justice, which found in their favor but did not give details on its ruling.

    Muslim and Christian Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s 7.4 million citizens. There are 10 Arab lawmakers in the 120-seat parliament.

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