Aatef Karinaoui says that the current Arab elected officials in the Knesset do not truly represent the Arab-Israeli public and spend most of their time bashing Israel instead. Karinaoui, a Arab Muslim Bedouin from the southern city of Rahat hopes that his new party will make a difference. The party, tenatively called El Amal Lat’gir, translated from Arabic as Hope for Change, will run in the upcoming January 22nd national elections.
Karinaoui's views were exposed in an interview with Israeli based journalist Philippe Assouline. Assouline spoke to Israel National Radio about his eye-opening conversation with the Muslim politician. For the full interview click here.
"I had been trying to write about Arab supporters of Israel within the State and I was led to this man," Assouline said. "He wants to run as an Arab who is pro-Israel in terms of both foreign policy and domestic policy."
Karinaoui held a launch event for the new project in the northern region of Israel this week. For the past 20 years he has been a member of the Likud Central Committee and has worked in an advisory capacity for Binyamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.
Assouline said that while Karinaoui didn't mention any names specifically, he was outraged by current Arab Members of Knesset who bash Israel publicly.
"I am paraphrasing here but, he was very vocal. He told me that we should thank G-d we live in a democracy but there are red lines. The people who claim to be Palestinian are working for foreign elements and we need red lines to protect our democracy."
Assouline added that the majority of Arab citizens of Israel don't vote and feel alienated. "The Arab parties don't really represent them."
Karinaoui also hinted that there is widespread voter fraud on behalf of current Arab parties in the Knesset. "He doesn't give any names or details, but he said that from personal experience he knows there are many fake votes on behalf of current sitting MKs."
Karinaoui said he felt the major Israeli parties were much more welcoming of the Druze community as opposed to the Israeli-Arab community. "But most of his rancor goes toward the Arab leaders," Assouline commented.
For the full interview, download Israel National Radio's Tamar Yonah Show by clicking here.
Arutz Sheva staff writer Ben Bresky contributed to this report.
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