(photo credit: PR)
The Israeli Arab Ta’al Party central committee, led by MK Ahmed Tibi, on Tuesday picked lawyer Osama Saadi for the second spot in his party, which corresponds to the 12th slot on the United List for the coming elections.
Spots 12 to 15 on the list are held on a rotating basis, with the 12th spot first going to the Ta’al Party.
Sources told The Jerusalem Post that Saadi, who is Tibi’s brother-in-law, is well known in Jerusalem for representing security prisoners, including three Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who were expelled from the capital.
Saadi hesitated before agreeing to the offer to join the party because of his thriving law firm, but on Monday he decided to accept, said the sources. Along with Tibi, he is one of the founding members of the Ta’al Party.
Saadi comes from the Israeli Arab village of Arrabe, located in the Galilee near Sakhnin, and was a senior student activist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He also is a former chairman of the Arab Students Union in Israel.
The United Arab List, Ta’al, Hadash, and Balad struck an historic deal last week to run as a united bloc. The decision to raise the electoral threshold to 3.25 percent of the vote and pressure from the Arab public have forced the parties to band together.
Meanwhile, a grassroots campaign by some Arabs is calling for a boycott of the elections, the Israeli Arab Panet news website reported on Monday.
A source from the Arab sector told the Post on Tuesday that the northern branch of the Islamic Movement and activists from the nationalist Bnei Hakfar movement are behind the effort, which is not the first time they have united to boycott elections.
The more hardline northern branch of the Islamic Movement, headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, unlike the southern branch opposes participating in Israel’s national elections.