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October 22, 2012 9:50 am

New Arab Party to Address Arab Israelis Rather Than Palestinian Arabs

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Israeli Knesset (parliament). Photo: wiki commons.

Arab public officials and activists have been working recently to establish a political party that will focus on Arab communities in Israel and their relationships with the government, rather than on promoting Palestinian Arab nationalism.

The party’s platform will be unlike the platforms of other existing Arab parties, such as the National Democratic Assembly, Ra’am-Ta’al and Hadash, which concentrate their efforts mainly on the claimed rights of Palestinians in the territories and criticizing Israel.

Senior Arab figures recently met with the council that heads the fledgling party to discuss the party’s platform, including issues of housing and employment that young Arab couples living in Israel face on a daily basis, and the rising rate of unemployment among the general Arab-Israeli populace.

“[Current] Arab MKs are interested only in matters pertaining to the Palestinians and events in Arab countries,” an Arab community representative and member of the new party’s council told Israel Hayom. “Officials elected by the public to the Knesset are more often found outside the country than in the streets of Arab villages and cities in Israel, and it’s time we changed that.”

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