Arab MK: No peace without end to Zionist regime

Balad chairman Zahalka tells 'Post' Israel has no future in Middle East; says he's "quite sure" third intifada coming.

Jamal Zahalka (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Jamal Zahalka
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
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 Sunday.
“I am not a Zionist, I am an anti-Zionist,” he said.
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 said.
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 regime.”
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 in Toronto.
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 democracy.”
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 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 democracy.”
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.”
Netanyahu’s 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.