Haaretz Publishes Arabic Editorial Urging Arabs to Vote

Haaretz published an Arabic-language editorial urging Israeli’s Arab population to make their voices heard by voting in upcoming elections.

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Rachel Hirshfeld ,

Israeli newspapers
Israeli newspapers
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday published an Arabic-language editorial titled "Arabs of Israel: Get out and vote", urging Israeli’s Arab population to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming national elections, set to take place January 22.

“Dear Arab masses... Come out and vote” the editorial begins. “Arab citizens are an important and integral part of Israeli society, and contribute to a variety of areas.”

"As a national minority, [Arab citizens] both enrich and challenge Israeli democracy, and therefore, it’s appropriate for them to have political representation that reflects their proportion in the Israeli population," wrote the radically left-leaning publication.

According to Al-Arabiya, “Nearly 50 percent of Arabs in Israel are reluctant to participate in the elections. The majority of those Arabs do not believe in Israeli democracy and they want to prevent the legitimization of the Israeli authorities that are occupying the Palestinian territories.”

“However, the Arab parties that are participating in the elections believe that it is important to enter the Knesset so they can defend their community rights within Israel,” according to Al-Arabiya.

The editorial, which was published with a Hebrew translation, also appeared on Haaretz’s English and Hebrew websites.

Many of the Arab MKs openly accuse the Israel Defense Forces of war crimes, call for boycotts against the state of Israel and work to strip the state of its Jewish identity.

Recently, a complaint was filed to the police against Arab MK Ahmed Tibi on suspicion of incitement, racism and contempt for state symbols.

The complaint was filed by Eliyahu Nissim, a member of the Otzma LeYisrael party, headed by MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari.

Nissim explained that he filed the complaint because "a few days ago Tibi posted on his Facebook page a picture that depicts himself with the Arabic caption 'Allahu Akbar on you' with small pictures of dogs made up of the symbols of the Star of David, the State emblem and the flag of the State of Israel, drawn underneath."

"As the elections inch closer it seems that MK Ahmed Tibi is working overtime spreading racism and hatred towards Israel," said Nissim.

"The Israeli Flag, Emblem and Anthem Law prohibits disrespect of the state flag and prohibits the degradation of its symbols,” he said. “In addition, the picture has pictures of dogs made out of the Star of David, the symbol of Judaism, which constitutes dissemination of racism, an act for which the punishment by law is imprisonment for five years."

The three Arab-led parties of Ra'am-Ta'al, the National Democratic Assembly and Hadash won 11 seats in the Israeli Knesset in 2009.