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Labor candidate calls for coalition with Arab parties

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Labor Party candidate Zuhair Bahloul calls upon the Arab parties to adopt a different strategy and demonstrate willingness to join a Labor-led coalition after the elections.
Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog (C-R) and former justice minister and Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni (L) wave during an election campaign meeting in Tel Aviv, on January 25, 2015 ahead of the March 17 general elections. Opposition Labour party head Isaac Herzog and Livni have made an alliance to contest Israel's snap general election. Most Israelis would like to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replaced after March elections but, paradoxically, he is seen as most suitable for the job, an opi

After being ranked 17th on the Labor Party’s slate, media personality Zuhair Bahloul’s life hasn’t been a stroll in the park. When his new party teamed up with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua in December, he suddenly found himself a member of a united group labeling itself the “Zionist Camp,” of which Livni is co-chair. Yossi Sarid, the former chairman of the Meretz movement and current Haaretz columnist, described in an article the dilemma of an Arab who decides to bolster the “Israeliness” of Israel’s Arab citizens, only to find himself taking flak from all sides. Referencing Israel's national anthem, he wrote, “His soul, how odd, isn’t that of a 'yearning Jew.' And as a native, his eye doesn’t gaze 'toward the east.' The dogs of the right rushed to lunge at him and attack him for his dual loyalty — not to say his treacherousness.”

Well before announcing that he was running in the elections on the Labor Party’s slate, Bahloul presented before the Israeli public the sense of dead-end helplessness felt by Arab Israelis in the face of a Zionist society. “Oh! How difficult my life is. I’ve had enough. I’m really fed up with being an Arab in the Holy Land,” he wrote in Haaretz. “Holy, my foot! This land is not real. To survive in it, I need to acquire more and more skills — juggling and acrobatics, for example. Without those arts, who can dodge so many bullets, all of which amount to suspicions and accusations?”

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