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Arab Parties banned from Israeli Election

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by Stalin, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    This should effectively kill the Big Lie that Israel is the only democracy in the region.

    "..By a margin of 26-3, the Israeli Central Elections Committee decided to ban the Balad Party from running in next month’s election. By a margin of 21-8, they also banned the United Arab List-Ta’al (UAL-T). The two bans will prevent more than half of the current Arab members of Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, from running for reelection.

    The Arab parties earned the ire of the most hawkish elements in the Israeli government by publicly opposing the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. Balad likewise made enemies by explicitly calling for equal rights for all citizens of Israel, regardless of national or ethnic identity, which the ruling Kadima Party said would “undermine Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.”

    ..

    A handful of Arabs will remain on the ballots across Israel, running for as-yet-unbanned Jewish majority parties, but with the general consensus among most of the population that Israeli Arabs are traitors based purely on their ethnic background, they would seem to have an uphill battle. Many disillusioned Arab voters may not vote at all, now that the only significant Arab parties aren’t allowed on the ballot.

    During the discussion, Balad Chairman Jamal Zahaika called the move to ban his party “a test for Israeli democracy” and warned that the ban would lead to an outright Arab boycott of the election.

    Zahaika also asked Avigdor Lieberman, the driving force behind the ban, “Why are you afraid of democracy?” Lieberman declared Balad a terrorist organization and said “whoever values life” would understand the need to ban it.

    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/12/israel-bans-arab-parties-from-election/

    Comrade Lazar Kaganovich
     
  2. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Background..

    Seems that equal rights and justice are off the agenda

    "...As a popular party with Israel’s large Arab minority, the Balad Party has been seen as a prime mover behind the nation’s domestic antiwar movement. Though officials have repeatedly warned them that “there is a limit to democracy” in Israel, this opposition party never seems to have fully learned its lesson.

    “The goals of Hamas and Balad are the same: to destroy Israel,” insists the always bellicose Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who favors a ban on the party. The Balad Party’s stated goal is to “transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity,” a goal which makes it dangerously radical in a state which views its non-Jewish citizens as second-class in the best of times and traitors during most wars.

    Balad was barred from the 2003 elections amid claims that it was secretly involved in terrorism, though this ban was later overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court citing insufficient evidence. Lieberman hopes to see the ban renewed in time for next month’s elections, and in a war-time Israel where censorship is rampant and antiwar protesters are traitors to the state, he may just get his wish.

    The Central Elections Committee is expected to vote on Balad’s ban tomorrow, and with the ruling Kadima Party on board it seems likely to pass. Kadima says that though it supports giving the Arab minority “due representation,” the Israeli government has an obligation to defend itself from Balad who “is trying to undermine Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.”

    Banning a party for calling for equal rights may fit with some Israeli politicians’ ideals of what a “Jewish state” should be, but with at least one journalist already arrested for violating the growing wartime censorship regime and minorities under growing threat from Israeli police for protesting government policies the ban of an opposition party for demanding equal rights for its constituents is likely to add to the growing concerns about Israel’s claims to be anything resembling a bastion of freedom in the Middle East.

    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/11/israel-set-to-ban-arab-opposition-party-from-elections/
     
  3. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    No comrades favourable to the ..er..democracy .. of Israel have anything to say ?

    I cannot say that I am surprised.

    The usual response of empire to a lie being exposed is silence

    Comrade Kaganovich
     
  4. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Still no comment from the 'Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East' faction.

    Come on comrades, you are normally gung-ho about this point.
     
  5. AgainstTheMachine

    AgainstTheMachine Member

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    Oh My Gosh!! I suppose that means an Iranian party in the USA is now out of the question!
     
  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Who cares if they are a democracy... they are an ally.
     
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