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Arab League: Palestinians must vote in Israel election
Published Sunday 20/01/2013 (updated) 21/01/2013 21:52
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An Orthodox Christian nun holds a cross as she walks past a campaign
banner depicting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the
walls surrounding Jerusalem's Old City January 20, 2013.
(Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Arab League on Sunday called on Palestinians in Israel to vote in Tuesday's parliamentary election, as Israel's political system seems set to shift further to the right.

The pan-Arab body expressed concern at the prospect of a government with far-right elements, noting that Israeli political parties have campaigned for racist policies which amount to ethnic cleansing and portray Palestinians as a threat to Israel, a statement said.

Palestinians in Israel, who make up around 20 percent of the population, must become a powerful voice in Israel's government in order to prevent further discriminatory polices from being passed in the Knesset, the statement added.

Israeli prime minister Netanyahu will continue to support settlements and will not seek peace with the Palestinians or the wider region, the Arab body said, adding that the expected right-wing government will continue with discriminatory policies to maintain Israel as an ethnically Jewish state.

Two polls on Friday showed Israel's right-wing and religious bloc winning a slim parliamentary majority of 63 out of 120 seats, with Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu group on course to be the largest party in the Knesset, albeit with eroding support.

Netanyahu's government would have to rely on smaller parties for its survival, such as the fiercely pro-settler Jewish Home party which has been surging in the polls and ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism.

Jewish Home's campaign message, as articulated by leader Naftali Bennet, is to annex Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories and prevent a Palestinian state at all costs.

Netanyahu has already said in campaign interviews that "the days of bulldozers uprooting Jews are behind us, not ahead of us," promising further support for illegal settlements.

Far-right Likud candidate Moshe Feiglin, a settler who is likely to win a Knesset seat, urged earlier this month for policies to encourage Palestinians in the West Bank to emigrate elsewhere.

Commenting on Israel's election, Muhammed Ishtayeh, a senior Fatah official, told The Associated Press that re-electing Netanyahu will lead to policies that create "an apartheid style state, similar to the one of former South Africa."

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) MEL / USA
20/01/2013 22:16
Exactly! Arabs with "Israeli" citizenship MUST exercise their political vote as their VOICE,to reduce the vote for Zionism FASCISM & swing that percentage over,AS FAR LEFT,as Zionist Israel has,which put them somewhere in the centre-Left(comparatively)LOL! Israel's apartheid system is WORSE THAN South Africa's. Your voice is your VOTE! Use it or LOOSE IT! It's time for Re-OCCUPY the Zionist Nazi occupation,when international LAWS,&global consensus,are on your side!

2 ) The bush / Usa
20/01/2013 23:16
How about Palestinians voting in Palestinian elections?

3 ) Rashid / .ps
21/01/2013 01:47
who are the arab league to tell Palestinians what to or not to vote.maybe they should tell the saudis ,the qataris,the bahrainis,omanis,uae ,jordanians(esp) etc etc to vote .. the arab league is just owned by usa,gcc and zios ..boycott

4 ) Must VOTE said the / ISLAMIC DICTATOR
21/01/2013 09:10
how phoney can you be?

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
21/01/2013 09:12
More Arab lies from the League of Arab Despots, Dictators and self-appointed Monarchs. Take your allegations of "ethnic cleansing" and shove 'em where the sun don't shine. There hare more Arabs in Palestine than ever before in history. There are more Arabs in Jerusalem under Israeli rule than ever before in history. The Arab numbers in Israel keep growing. The only "ethnic cleansing" is in the propaganda they spit out. The sad truth? There is still no Arab democracy. Anywhere.

6 ) @Brian Cohen / Israel
21/01/2013 12:18
Of course there are more now then any other time in history, its called population growth dumbass. Tunisia, Egypt had recent democratic elections, and Hamas were also voted in democratically. Another Israeli with no idea about the middle east, what a surprise!

7 ) Outlier / USA
21/01/2013 20:21
If they are citizens of Israel, they should vote. To vote is to participate in democracy.

8 ) ian / australia
21/01/2013 21:44
What a horrible sight. Banners of Bibi on Suleiman the Magnificent's wall (which I'd point out is in occupied Palestine not Israel). And NO different to Nazi banners in the Rue du Rivoli after Fall Rot in 1940. But it's all following a pre-written script. There is only ONE thing that can happen: Likud/Beiteinu will win. Israel will "lurch" to the right. "Friends" of Israel in the EU and US will find themselves supporting a state bent on "annexing" a swathe of land (Area C) which the UN has

9 ) ian / australia
21/01/2013 21:45
(contd.) deemed Palestine, the 194th state, (along with a million or so inhabitants) with NO intention of granting them citizenship or the right to vote! Despite the machinations of Israeli propaganda (Holocaust guilt, nuclear Iran, mad Imams, Hamas/Hezbollah rockets etc.) it will slowly dawn on the West what it is supporting and it will balk at supporting it further. Friendless, Israel will be forced to become a true democratic state (to which ALL refugees would be entitled to return) OR...

10 ) ian / australia
21/01/2013 21:46
(contd.) relinquish enough territory for a decent Palestinian state, obviously inc. EJ and the Asqa on the '67 line. At this stage, the power at the negotiating table will switch dramatically to the Palestinian side, because the consequences for Israel of talks failing are too horrible to contemplate! What I'm saying is the Zionist project can't succeed. It's doomed to fail. Who knows who'll live to see it, but what else is possible? (#7 too long Outlier?)

11 ) carlos / .ps
22/01/2013 00:22
lol.great pic

12 ) ian / australia
22/01/2013 04:02
#5 "Of course there are more now then any other time in history, its called population growth dumbass." I would've been more polite about it but #6 has a point. "The only "ethnic cleansing" is in the propaganda they spit out." Point taken Brian, but not really. EC is obviously not a full-blown reality (ie. it's not happening) but it's an implication of the policies of the extreme parties Israelis are voting for. It's a threat. The harrassment of Palestinians in the WB and EJ (ie. the wall,

13 ) ian / australia
22/01/2013 04:03
(contd.) killing teenagers etc.) is like a preparatory stage. Annexing Area C (a policy/threat of Jewish Home) is an escalation threatening more and worse. Of course the threat will never be carried out as Israel couldn't get away with it. (Realistically, Israel can't get away with ANYTHING beyond two states on (roughly) the '67 border). But it remains a psychological menace towards Palestinians under Israeli rule, hanging in the air.

14 ) Israeli1 / Israel
22/01/2013 04:38
Odd - the Arab League does not encourage voting in Arab countries.
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