The Arab League is urging Arab Israelis to go vote in the national elections on Tuesday in order to battle the rise of the “radical Right” in the Jewish state.
In a statement released Sunday, only two days before Israeli citizens head to the polling stations to determine the makeup of the next Knesset, the umbrella organization of Arab countries called on the Arab sector to make its voice heard.
“The radical Right in Israel is striving to pass anti-Arab laws whose aim is to ethnically cleanse the Arabs,” the statement said.
“Forecasts see the majority voting for the extremist, racist Right, which doesn’t want peace but wants a Jewish state that considers Arabs a risk for Israel.”
Arab Israeli parties currently hold 11 Knesset seats, and are expected to win the same amount of mandates in the upcoming elections.
The Arab League called on the Arab population in Israel to make sure that it is fairly represented in the government so that it “stand up to those who violate international law and the principles of democracy and justice.”
The group asserted that by not voting, Arab Israelis are essentially encouraging racist legislation and “giving those who support ethnic cleansing what they want.”
The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, which reported on the Arab League’s statement, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is up for reelection on Jan. 23, has made statements that “portend future wars, more settlements… tension, instability and the elimination of any chance for peace in the region.”
The news agency joined the League in prodding Arab Israelis to cast their ballots.
“You’re the legitimate owners of the land, who protect your mosques, your churches, your Muslim and Christian graves, your history and your soil against a future brutal and dangerous assault,” it said. “You must unite and help each other.”
Arab Israeli voter turnout has been low in recent years compared to the general public. In 2009, 53.4% of the Arab sector voted, and 56.3% voted three years earlier. A record low turnout was reported in 2001, when only 18% cast their ballots.
Source: Ynet News