Zionism is going to come to an end, as it “has no future in the Middle East,”
Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on
“I am not a Zionist, I am an anti-Zionist,” he
Israel claims that it is a democratic country and that Arabs have
rights and even Knesset members, Zahalka said. But Israeli Arabs are unhappy
with this democracy and will continue to demand their rights, he
Zahalka sees the conflict as unsolvable as long as Israel exists as
a Jewish state. At a recent conference in Canada he exclaimed: “In the long term
there is no chance for democracy, peace and freedom without ending the Zionist
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and others have been
suggesting to the media that the Palestinian issue is not the first Middle East
issue that needs to be addressed, but rather the rising Islamist trend in the
region, the Balad head said.
The Arab Spring, Zahalka told the Post, is
drawing attention away from the Palestinian issue – “Netanyahu is using it to
distract the international community.”
Zahalka described his recent trip
to Canada to mark Land Day, held every March 30 to commemorate the deaths of six
Galilee Arabs in 1976 riots over a government decision to confiscate land. He
was the keynote speaker at two events – one with the local Palestinian
community, which was held in Arabic, and the second in English to a mixed crowd
Palestinians throughout the diaspora are worried about the
situation, he said.
“Give me my land and take your democracy with you,”
he said addressing Israel, telling the Post this was the theme of one of his
speeches he gave in Canada, titled, “Debunking the myth of Israeli
Zahalka expressed frustration that nothing is happening now –
“no negotiations and no resistance” – and emphasized that there is a need to
act. The real danger is the efforts by Israel to marginalize the Palestinian
issue and normalize the occupation, he said.
A website called Blog Wrath
published a partial transcript of Zahalka’s speech. The media spokesman of the
Balad party sent the Post a link to the site.
In the speech, Zahalka
argued that the Palestinians are the victims with a simple story, whereas the
Jews have a long and complicated story filled with lies.
“If [you] ask
Israeli[s] – it was 3,000 years ago and God was involved there in some
way...as a real estate agent, he promised me that and gave me that,
things like this. Even secular Israelis, who don’t believe in God, still believe
in his promise to the people of Israel.”
The Israeli narrative is false
and impossible to accept, Zahalka argued in his speech: “When I analyze the
Israeli story, it’s like the onion symbol – you try to find some truth, you
uncover the first layer, then the second layer, seeking for something solid –
nothing – lie over lie, over lie, over lie. This is the Israeli story. That’s
why we have to be very suspicious over the Israeli story.”
He went on to
say that the Israeli project is based on expulsion because without it, a
democratic Jewish state would not have been possible since the country
originally had an Arab majority.
“And that’s the dirty secret of the
Israeli democracy – it’s a democracy built on transfer: No transfer, no Israeli
In an interview with the Toronto Star newspaper at the
Palestinian diaspora event in Mississauga, Ontario, he stated, “I’m quite sure
there’s going to be a third intifada. I can’t say when. But I think one is on
the way. The Palestinian leadership wants it to be peaceful.”
government is “the most pro-settler government ever,” Zahalka told the Star. The
option of a two-state solution is disappearing as Israeli settlements continue
to take Palestinian land, he told the paper.
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