Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Israeli Arab MK Heaps Vitriol on Syrian Dissident

(Photo source: al-Jazeera)

I'm sure the special effort MK Muhammad Barakeh (Hadash) made to show his disgust for the democratic opposition to the Syrian government will be well rewarded some day. Speaking about Farid al-Ghadiri's visit to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Barakeh not only said that he disapproved of the Syrian-American politician's trip to Israel but that he "condemns and rejects [it] with disgust." He added that
Al-Ghadiri decided to incite against his countrymen and his homeland and chose to be a mercenary for the Americans. He came to be used as a poor servant of the militarist agenda of the extreme right-wing. Scum is a bad thing, but American scum of this type is the worst of all (Ynet Hebrew).
I have never heard MK Barakeh say one good thing about his fellow countrymen, or one bad thing about Syria's oppressive regime. See also al-Jazeera's coverage (Arabic).

The heavy man in the photograph pointing and yelling at al-Ghadiri, who is ignoring his interlocutor very successfully, is MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra'am Ta'al).

8 comments:

Nobody said...

i am not surprised at all ... and actually i am under the impression that as a rule israeli arabs are even more backward and politically reactionary than in other places in the region .... i just hope that we won't discover one day that they have turned salafis too ...

they will do us a great favor if one day they will take their triangles and join the arab world .. dunno about other contributors to your blog but i will be certainly celebrating that day ...

Amos said...

Nobody,

I don't think that's true about Israeli Arabs in general, but you're definitely right about the MKs in the Arab parties.

With regard to Israeli Arabs as a whole - there are huge differences among them that I hardly need to point out to you. The attempts by people like Bishara to "nationalize" them to become Palestinians with one, united identity have not succeeded yet, as far as I can tell. The interests of the various groups diverge too much for something like that to happen - at least at this point.

Things might change when the Bedouin sector modernizes, and a Bedouin intelligentsia starts competing for professional and civil service jobs with Jews and other Arabs, on a big scale.

I definitely wouldn't be celebrating. I think the Arabs are part of the country, too. It would be a loss to Israel if they left.

Before anyone jumps on Nobody for his supposed "racism" or advocacy of "transfer" - note that he is clearly NOT suggesting the expulsion or "out-zoning" of anyone.

The residents of the "triangle" are Israeli citizens, and no one can take their citizenship away from them. Nor do I think that, for all the rhetoric of their leaders, they are interested in collectively separating from Israel.

Nobody said...

The attempts by people like Bishara to "nationalize" them to become Palestinians with one, united identity have not succeeded yet, as far as I can tell

you have placed this 'yet' very wisely in your sentence ... and the direction of the things is very clear as far as i am concerned ... the Muslim Arab sector is growing more and more palestinianized which is natural as this region seems to grow more and more dominated by sectarian and nationalist agendas ....

i think that you also idealize the situation with israeli arabs .. the muslim sector in particular ... maybe they are failing to establish a shared national identity (about which i am not sure at all ) but they are certainly no big fans of jews and zionism as evidenced for example from a recent poll that established that 1/4 of israeli arabs don't believe that holocaust happened and 1/2 justify the hezbollah cross border raid that started the war ... take into account that in the christian sector the figures should more normal and you will get a pretty clear picture of what's going on in the muslim one ...

mind you that from my experience with israeli arabs i can say that the situation is even worse ... the polls fail to reflect on this, as some part of the arabs who took part in the poll were thinking that shabak would later use this data to spot potential trouble makers

i can't see why transferring the triangle to the PA can be a loss for this country .. if anything it is a liability if not a full scale time bomb ...

yaman said...

Farid Ghadry is a piece of shit, really. That he was dragged in by the Israeli right as a symbol of the Syrian opposition, really tells you a lot about the ignorance of the Israeli right. Here is a good write-up on him and his visit.

Amos said...

Okay. I read your link. It was pretty obvious from that start that this guy is not a very credible person to talk to in lieu of Assad or real members of the Syrian opposition. But is he "a piece of shit"? Why the vitriol?

Yuval Steinitz invited him. Was he touted as a symbol of the Syrian opposition? I'm not sure; maybe he was. But this whole thing is part of an internal battle in Israeli foreign policy circles about whether to conduct talks with Assad. It seems perfectly legitimate that to bolster their case, one of the factions invites someone who offers an assessment contrary to the one of the other faction.

Anyway, what's disgusting about the Arab MKs calling Ghadry "scum," is that none of them seemed bothered by the fact that Bishara and others have had personal audiences with Assad in Syria. That's pure hypocrisy. Or is Ghadry more scum than the head of the Syrian regime?

yaman said...

I am not going to rank scum. But I will say this: a peace agreement with Israel would be just as unpopular and unstable in Syria, be it put forward by Assad or by Ghadry, as long as the Palestinian issue is unresolved. Assad would probably be able to overcome this, though, depending on what happens to the state of emergency that gives him absolute control over everything--whose entire premise is built on war with Israel.

yaman said...

Oh, and what makes him a piece of shit is that he claims to speak for somebody, but speaks for nobody--even Assad speaks for many more people than he does (and I am serious about this). Not a single Syrian opposition group communicates or cooperates with his group, which is really just a failed neo-con experiment.

The largest two opposition umbrellas at this point are the Damascus Declaration groups, and the National Salvation Front. Personally, I think the NSF is equally questionable (though not as repulsive) because it has the ex-VP and the leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. I like the Damascus Declaration more.

Amos said...

Thanks, Yaman.

I was put off by some of the anti-Lebanese rhetoric in that piece you linked to. I just don't buy that line about Syrians being the victim of Lebanese vendettas.

Would you say that you agree with the Bush administration (at least on this issue!) that Israel should not pursue talks with Syria and focus on the Palestinian front instead? There has been some debate about this in Israel recently.