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Israel's trumped-up charges

May 18, 2007 | Page 9

AZMI BISHARA responded to the charges of "aiding the enemy" made against him by Israeli officials in a public statement that appeared in the Los Angeles Times and other publications. Here, we print a brief excerpt.

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THE ALLEGATIONS are ridiculous. Needless to say, Hezbollah--Israel's enemy in Lebanon--has independently gathered more security information about Israel than any Arab Knesset member could possibly provide.

What's more, unlike those in Israel's parliament who have been involved in acts of violence, I have never used violence or participated in wars. My instruments of persuasion, in contrast, are simply words in books, articles and speeches.

What else to read

Bishara's statement "Why Israel is after me" is available on the Los Angeles Times Web site.

The full version of Azmi Bishara's speech is included in the forthcoming Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians, and the U.S. "War on Terror," a new title from Haymarket Books edited by Tikva Honig-Parnass and Toufic Haddad. You can preorder the book from Amazon.

For a collection of essays on the history of Israel's occupation and Palestinian resistance, read The Struggle for Palestine, edited by Lance Selfa.

The Electronic Intifada Web site provides updates on the current situation in Gaza and the West Bank. For an eyewitness account of life in Gaza under israel's iron siege, read "From Gaza With Love," an Internet blog written by Dr. Mona El-Farra.

 

These trumped-up charges, which I firmly reject and deny, are only the latest in a series of attempts to silence me and others involved in the struggle of the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel to live in a state of all its citizens, not one that grants rights and privileges to Jews that it denies to non-Jews...

More than 20 Israeli laws explicitly privilege Jews over non-Jews. The Law of Return, for example, grants automatic citizenship to Jews from anywhere in the world. Yet Palestinian refugees are denied the right to return to the country they were forced to leave in 1948.

The Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty--Israel's Bill of Rights--defines the state as "Jewish" rather than a state for all its citizens. Thus, Israel is more for Jews living in Los Angeles or Paris than it is for native Palestinians.

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