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Fatah Leader Urges Arab-Israelis to Vote for Arab List

A Fatah leader in the West Bank urged Arab-Israelis to vote for the Joint Arab List in the Israeli elections, as did a Lebanese newspaper.

In voicing an opinion about the election, Hatem Abdul Qader broke with Fatah’s longstanding policy of not intervening in Israeli politics, according to the Times of Israel.

Qader said the unification of numerous Arab parties into one list presented a critical opportunity for Arab-Israelis to demonstrate their opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s “fascism and racism” and to “determine the destiny of Arabs in Israel, whether they will remain marginalized or become an active force capable of influencing and claiming their rights.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper published an editorial Monday headlined “Say ‘yes’ to the Joint (Arab) List,” which noted that the election gives Arab-Israelis a “historic opportunity” to “assert the absent Palestinian presence in Israel.”

“An Israeli Arab vote for the Joint Arab List can be the start of a Palestinian awakening, a unique revival the echo of which will inevitably reach the Palestinian street, which suffers from disunity and fragmentation in Gaza and the West Bank,” the editorial said, the Times of Israel reported.

Also in the Lebanese media, the country’s Al-Mayadeen TV broadcast an interview with Hanin Zoabi, an Arab Knesset member from the Balad party, in which she said Arab Knesset members are part of the “Palestinian national project” and not Israeli politics.

“I don’t consider myself just a member of Knesset,” she said, according to the Times of Israel. “We are part of the national project. We don’t rely on any Israeli government to recognize our rights.”

Last month, the Supreme Court overturned a Knesset decision that sought to bar Zoabi, on the basis of her alleged support for Hamas, from participating in the elections.

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