Former Druze MK Ayoub Kara has announced his plans to return to the Knesset as a candidate on the ever-expanding Likud list. Kara, who said he will run in the party primaries scheduled for December 15, has set his first meeting in the mixed Jewish-Druze town of Peki'in.
Young pro-Arab Druze rioters attacked police and Jews earlier this year in the ancient Galilean village, where a Jewish presence has been maintained for 2,000 years.
Kara called for a renewal of ties between the Jewish and Druze communities, saying "We need to strengthen the Zionist connection between Druze and Jews that has been damaged in recent years, especially in Peki'in."
The Druze MK's record on intergroup relations between Jews and other groups is strong and uncompromising. In 2003, he issued a clear statement condemning incitement by Arab MKs and the Islamic Movement against the State.
"Israel must stop 'touching up' an ugly picture; the Israeli Arabs engaged in a civil rebellion to demonstrate their national solidarity with the Palestinians," he said in a statement released to the media on September 23, 2003.
The former MK reminded voters that he had opposed the 2005 Disengagement with Gaza, and had faced stiff criticism at the time for his stand. "I hope in these elections, they'll ask my forgiveness at the ballot box," he said.
His candidacy represents another in a long list of "stars" that party chairman Knesset Member Binyamin Netanyahu has attracted. Zev Jabotinsky, grandson of the Zionist leader by the same name, is expected to announce his candidacy Sunday or Monday.
Last week former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon and former police chief Asaf Hefetz threw their hats into the Likud's political ring as well.