Just after Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog received an endorsement from former President Shimon Peres on Thursday, top Palestinian Authority official Mustafa Barghouti also advocated - albeit indirectly - for the leftist candidate.
“We all truly desire that Binyamin Netanyahu fall and be replaced, and that his administration come to an end,” Barghouti told the NRG news site in an interview.
With that, he said, he did not expect an administration led by Herzog to be much different than the one currently led by Netanyahu.
Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Central Committee who is considered a leader of both the First and Second Intifadas, said that the PA does not expect major changes in Israeli policy, regardless of who is elected.
“We have no expectations from these elections,” he said. “The comments made by both Herzog and his partner Tzipi Livni that they will never compromise on Jerusalem and Gush Etzion are indications of their attitudes, which does not leave room for hope among us.”
Barghouti said that from the PA's perspective, all of Israel has turned to the Right, and the campaigns by various political parties reflect this shift in viewpoint.
“Most of the Zionist parties are using harsh expressions and the incitement has reached record levels in order to get voters. The only parties not acting in this manner are Meretz and the Joint Arab List.”
Addressing the latter party, Barghouti called its formation “a great development for the Palestinians, because it will build more and better connections between Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel proper. It is wonderful that they united despite the differences in ideology, and I see this as a historic move for Palestinians in Israel.”
Besides the success of the Joint Arab List, Barghouti said, the best the PA could hope for was that Netanyahu would no longer be Prime Minister.
“We are not interfering in the Israeli election, but we truly hope that Netanyahu will no longer run the government. The period of his rule was the darkest ever for Palestinians."
"The failure of the Oslo Accords has caused a rift between Israeli and Palestinian societies, and a misunderstanding among the Israeli public that without the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel will either become an apartheid state, or a democratic state of all its citizens in which the Jews will no longer be a majority.”