Israeli Arab lawmakers from the Joint Arab List (from L to R) Osama Saadi, Ahmed Tibi, Ayman Odeh, Masud Ganaim and Haneen Zoabi stand in front of the Dome of the Rock during a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City July 28, 2015. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Balad leader Jamal Zahalka mocked Israeli symbols on Tuesday in an interview with the Anashim (People) program on Channel 12.
“I am a Palestinian with an Israeli identity card, but I have no Israeli identity,” Zahalka said.
When asked if he sings “Hatikva,” he said, “I would rather die than sing the Israeli national anthem,” and he complained about “Israel continuing its occupation.”
Asked about the Israeli flag, Zahalka said, “Any flag for me is a rag. It’s a piece of cloth. It’s a lot worse than a rag.”
Zahalka is a member of the Joint List that combined four Arab parties ahead of the last election. He succeeded as Balad chairman Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007 while under investigation for passing information to Hezbollah during the previous year’s Second Lebanon War. Bishara currently resides in Doha, where he is the director of a think tank and is reportedly close to Qatar’s royal family, a major sponsor of Hamas.