Recent Israeli Election has a message for US and Arab nations: Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan

February 3, 2013

New Delhi, Feb. 3: The recent parliamentary election in Israel has sent a message to Arab nations. The entire election campaigns summarily ignored the issue of Palestine as no party — whether it is rightist, leftist or centrist — raised the issue, nor did any talk about the Israel-Arab relations, said Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat and Editor, Milli Gazette and an expert on Palestinian issue. He was speaking at the weekly program at the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

Giving details about the Israeli parliamentary elections that were held on 22nd January, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said political parties in Israel have different views and approach on internal issues, but when it comes to Palestine, they have united and one approach.

“During the election campaigns for new Knesset – the Israeli parliament, no party raised the issue of Palestine or Arab-Israel relations. They talked about as to how to improve relations with US and that Arab Spring is a threat to Israel,” said Dr. Khan. The parties, particularly the ruling Likud Yisrael Beiteinu (popularly known as Likud party) of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to cash in on the recent attack on Gaza. Some parties also raise the issue of inflation, informed Dr. Khan.

The results of the Jan 22 elections were declared last week. The ruling Likud party – which is a rightist party – has got 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset and the leftist parties and all have got 59 seats. This has led to a situation where an interim government has been formed as no coalition has very clear majority. The ruling coalition led by Likud party will have to prove majority within 45 days, otherwise new coalition may be given chance or fresh election could be called. Irrespective of which coalition forms the government, the ruling regime will have same view against Palestine.

Talking about the representation of Arabs in the Israeli parliament, Dr. Khan said that Arabs – most of them are Muslims – are 20% of Israeli population yet they could send just 8 members to the parliament while as per their population they could have at least 24 seats. But like in India, proportionate representation of Arabs is curbed in Israel through different measures including reservation.

On Palestine-Israel issue, Dr. Khan said all political parties of Israel want status quo of post-1967 war border. They want the situation remain as it is for next 50 and 100 years. They do not want identification of the border. About 80% of water of West Bank goes to Israel. If border is defined, the situation will change. Both Gaza and West Bank were occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israel war. Israel considers these areas its own property, it does not accept it as occupation, and this is the very reason of rift between Israel and US. “UN and US are against Israeli settlements in West Bank and Gaza, but Israel has been setting up colonies their ignoring the opposition of UN and US,” said Dr. Khan adding that Israel has demolished several Arab colonies to erect Jewish settlements. Israeli colonies are being erected within the area of Baitul Maqdis also. He also said that various intelligence agencies have reported that Israel has become a liability for the US as for consecutive vetoing for Israel at UN Security Council has isolated the US at global forum. The sudden emergence of Yesh Atid party, which has got 19 seats, is seen as the tactics of the US to keep in check the forces which are not friendly with the US government.

Despite being surrounded by Arab nations, Israel does little care about them. And despite some differences on internal issues, all political parties of Israel are united against Palestine statehood. The situation demands Arab nations to remove their differences and get united for Palestine.

The program was presided over by Ameer (National President of Jamaat) Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri. Other leaders of Jamaat including General Secretary Nusrat Ali and National Secretary for Public Relations Mohammad Salim Engineer were also present in the program. The program was conducted by Mohammad Salim Engineer.


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1 Comment

  1. Nazreen

    Another Senior leader Janab Muhammad Jafar Saheb, Naib Ameer can also be seen on the stage. Names of other leaders are mentioned at the end but not his. Please correct the mistake.