Take us to your leader®. Then take us to your reader®.
How it works? [Click here]
Who we are
Our Agenda

Latest News
Good & Bad News

101 Palestinian History
Link & Resources
The Valley Galleria
nileMedia Reader

Join US
Contact Us

May 30, 2001
Azmi Bishara Press Release On Israeli President's racist remarks



Israeli President Katsav strikes again: this time he accuses Palestinian and foreign workers for the "Versailles" wedding hall disaster. In response, MK Azmi Bishara urges the international diplomatic community to take the State of Israel to task for its President's racist remarks regarding "non-Jews."

Press Release
MK Azmi Bishara
National Democratic Assembly
May 29, 2001

In a letter addressed to Europe's Foreign Ministers issued today in response to the blatantly racist opinions repeatedly expressed by Israeli President Moshe Katsav about the Arab public in Israel-a public that comprises almost 20% of the citizenry he is supposed to represent-MK Azmi Bishara wrote:

"Most recently, following the tragedy at the "Versailles" wedding hall in Jerusalem, where over 20 people were killed and over 300 people were injured due to faulty Israeli engineering methods, President Katsav squarely placed the blame for the accident on the fact that Israeli buildings have, for the past 30 years, been constructed by "non-Jewish" and "foreign" laborers (May 24, 2001).

"Prior to this outlandish correlation, President Katsav contended that "there is an incredible difference between us and our enemies, not only in ability, but also in morality, culture, value attributed to life, and conscience" (May 13, 2001).

"Finally, not being privy to the sentiments expressed by the president behind closed doors, in mid-February of 2001 President Katsav publicly contended in various media that there is no discrimination against the Arab citizens of Israel, but rather that the latter merely feel discriminated against-a feeling which the Arabs must overcome themselves.

"I need not venture too far into the past to remind you of the international uproar that swept Europe following the election of Joerg Haider to the Austrian government. The fact that the Israeli President's intolerant, insensitive, and incendiary remarks have gone unnoticed should be a red flag to us all. It is difficult to find meaningful criticism of these attitudes in the Israeli press, let alone in international media outlets-which, I can only assume, simply do not report them.

"I urge you, on behalf of the Arab public in Israel, and in the name of the basic values of equality, pluralism, and tolerance, to take the State of Israel, and the office of its president in particular, to task on this matter.

"At a time when the State of Israel is using unprecedented force to repress the Palestinian struggle for liberation from without, I implore you to also take notice of the escalating violence-both physical and rhetorical-directed against the Palestinian demand for justice and equality from within."

MK Azmi Bishara
Nazareth Office:
Tel 972-4-457457
Fax 972-4-457458

Jerusalem Office:
Tel 972-2-6753101
Fax 972-2-6753182