Jews and Arabs Refuse to Be Enemies: Hadash Campaigns against Fascism and Racism

Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) launched its new election campaign on Monday, January 26, 2009, facing the general elections to be held on February 10.  The campaign’s focus is the fight against fascism and racism.

The Arab-Jewish front’s new campaign slogan is “Jews and Arabs Refuse to Be Enemies.  Hadash — the Opposite of Lieberman.”  Avigdor (Yvette) Lieberman is the leader of the racist Yisrael Beiteinu party.  The campaign, with a new Web site, will make use of several videos featuring Jewish and Arab youths together.

English subtitles by Tali Shapiro

“We are the safe refuge for all those who fear the onslaught of ‘Liebermanization’,” said Hadash chairman, Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh.  “Unfortunately, ‘Liebermanization’ is not limited to the man himself and has permeated Israeli society.”

The party feels that racism against Israeli Arabs is growing by the day, citing the Central Elections Committee’s decision to disqualify two Arab parties as a prominent example.  The decision was later overturned by the High Court of Justice, but the very fact that the CEC overwhelmingly backed the disqualification, said the party, was part of a long-term trend aimed at demonizing the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, portraying them as the enemy.  That, according to the party, is the reason for the new, aggressive counter-campaign.

“This (trend) is destructive to the Israeli society,” said MK Dov Khenin.  “That is why Hadash, which is the complete opposite of Lieberman, decided to rally all the democratic and liberal forces in Israel against racism and ‘transferism.’  We know that there are plenty who oppose Liebermanization.”

“The racist discourse seems to be increasing with corruption.   The saying that fascism is the scoundrel’s last resort, fits Lieberman and his followers like a glove,” added Barakeh.  “I’m worried about the big picture.  The mandate his party is expected to get is a manifestation of Liebermanization within Israeli society.  The fight against racism goes beyond the election campaign.  Unfortunately, racism is evident in every aspect of our lives.” 

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