Atef Qrenawi
Atef QrenawiCourtesy

In a change of direction from the current situation, a new Arab party being formed for the upcoming elections will support the State of Israel and will not be nationalistically Arab in its nature, Channel 2 News reported on Friday.

According to the report, the members of the new party will be well-known public figures. It will likely be headed by Atef Qrenawi, a public figure from the city of Rahat in southern Israel, who is also a member of the Likud Central Committee and is responsible for reducing the gaps between the Arab and Jewish populations in the Ministry of Finance.

A source involved in the negotiations to set up the new party told Channel 2 News that the party will focus exclusively on issues related to the Arab population in Israel, and especially the population of children and young couples.

"We're tired of Arab MKs who are more concerned with foreign policy in the Arab world and the Palestinian people,” said the source, adding, “We want to take care of the Arab population in Israel.”

Many of the Arab MKs who presently serve in the Knesset are notorious for their anti-Israel positions and actions. One of these MKs is Hanin Zoabi, who took part in the 2010 attempt to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas. Zoabi was aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, where IDF soldiers who boarded were violently attacked. A video clip indicates that she knew of the planned attack in advance.

Zoabi was later caught rubbing elbows with senior Hamas terrorists. She has also been criticized for anti-Israel speeches, such as one saying that Israel has “no right to a normal life” and a more recent address claiming that “the Israeli occupation” was behind the murder of Israelis in Bulgaria.

Another Arab MK, Ahmed Tibi, went to New York to be a part of the Palestinian Authority’s delegation to the United Nations when it presented its unilateral statehood bid last September.

As well, Tibi praised the Palestinian Authority’s “martyrs” at a ceremony held on the occasion of "Palestinian Martyrs Day” and sponsored by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

MK Ofir Akunis has asked the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Zoabi from running in the upcoming elections.

As for the new party, the source told Channel 2 it plans to begin operations soon and reach every Arab home in Israel.

“It’s time that everyone get to know us and know that there is another way and another direction,” said the source. “These are not people who will serve as members of Knesset for 20 years and not take care of their own population.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)