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Leading Israeli Arab Politician Says He Won’t Attend Shimon Peres' Funeral

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh cites differences between how Shimon Peres has been eulogized and the way the Arab public remembers him.

Despite Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas voicing his intent to attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, MK Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Joint Arab List, announced on Thursday that he would not be present at the event.
“The memory of Peres among the Arab public is different than the narrative discussed in the past few days, and I understand that complex messages such as these are hard to hear the moment after a person dies,” said Odeh.
“To Peres’ credit," he added, "he pursued peace while building a partnership with members of the Arab public, and the evidence is that 90 percent of the Arab public voted for him in the 1996 elections.” Still, said Odeh, “there is strong opposition in Arab society to the architect of the occupation who introduced nukes to the Middle East, and I regret that as president he elected to support Netanyahu and his policies.”
Odeh’s announcement drew condemnations from politicians. “The decision of the Arab parties not to respect the moments of bidding farewell to Shimon Peres, one of the leaders of the peace camp and pioneers of the peace process, makes one wonder who exactly they represent, because it certainly does not reflect the feeling of respect and admiration among large sections of the Arab population in Israel toward Peres and his work,” said MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union). He added, “Few are the people who dedicated themselves politically and publicly, like Peres, to the peace process and establishing a Palestinian state. The decision of the Arab parties is tantamount to sticking a finger in the eyes of the Israeli public in general and the peace camp in particular.”
MK Shuli Moallem Refaeli, the Habayit Hayehudi faction chairperson, said, “It is easier for Ayman Odeh to prove he is a distinguished Arab leader when he is trampling on Israel, its symbols and its leaders. It is much simpler to dance on Peres’ body and to make headlines in the Arab press than to work hard in the Knesset to improve the lives of the Israeli Arabs who voted for him.”

Jack Khoury
Haaretz Corresponden
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.745164
Schermata 2016 09 29 alle 22.06.41

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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