Zouheir Bahloul
Zouheir Bahloul Amir Levi/Flash 90

Zionist Union MK Zouheir Bahloul explained his decision to resign from the Knesset in protest over the passage of the Nationality Law in an interview with Ayala Hasson on Radio 103FM.

"I'm trying to recover because it's not an easy time for me. Joint action for three and a half years does not immediately disappear and has implications. The Knesset has become a place of Sisyphean labor," Bahloul said.

He said that he "suffered quite a bit during the three years of the Knesset."

When asked if he had made the right choice in joining the Zionist Union party, MK Bahloul replied: "During my work in the Knesset, I wanted to strengthen [the sense of] Israeli belonging among myself and among the Arabs in Israel, because we are Israelis in addition to being Palestinian Arabs. This was also the case with the law of impeachment, the laws of persecution against the Israeli Left, the Breaking the Silence Law, the regulation and expropriations laws, there is no end to the list."

"I was not looking to be a hero, I was looking for honesty and conscience," he said. "On the day the national law was passed, I went abroad, and then I decided to leave the Knesset. The Knesset changed its face without recognition."

He said that Israel "is a democratic state, but it is becoming ethnocratic, and as soon as a hierarchy of residents is made and the Arabs are transformed by a Basic Law into second-class citizens, it is officially not a democratic state. Instead of being an official [government], the coalition has become a private estate of the Jewish home and of Binyamin Netanyahu, and this is not the same Knesset and these are not the same rules of the democratic game. Our country, the state is changing bit by bit."

"It is possible that my choice was not correct, but my decision reflected a certain value, and I still believe that the shared life is supposed to continue, and it is not possible that the Knesset will be so cut off from the people's feelings. In Israel, as the leader of an Arab organization in Acre and exposed to youth, I know that that hope has not faded.

"They sent me letters after I left. The Labor Party has excellent human capital. I had arguments with party members and the small and restrained response of many of them to my departure only indicates that the party's differences are deep "