A Jewish Home for Arab Politicians?

YERUSHALAYIM -

An Arab resident of northern Israel is running for a place on the Jewish Home party list for the Knesset, Arutz Sheva reported on Thursday.

The party primaries are scheduled for early January, and Anat Haskia hopes to recruit enough supporters from her community to become a Jewish Home candidate in the elections, projected for March 17.

Haskia, whose three children served in the IDF, announced her candidacy — and her signup project — on Thursday.

“As you know,” she wrote to the public, “I have decided to join the Jewish Home party. In order to get on the list of candidates, I need you to join. Together we will fight against the incitement emanating from the Arab community, and encourage more young Arabs to identify with the state of Israel.”

Haskia presents herself not as a representative of the Arab sector and its special interests, but as someone whose candidacy deserves support from Jewish Israelis as well.

“Jews who seek change in Arab attitudes should help me, by empowering me to fight in the Knesset against other Arab MKs” who are hostile to Israel and make no secret of it.

Haskia is reportedly part of a trend of Israeli Arabs challenging the dominance of anti-Zionist figures in their communities. This trend has been strongest among Israeli Christians, who in recent years have increasingly been looking to strengthen their ties with the Jewish state, where their religious rights are protected.

Haskia’s candidacy follows passage recently of a controversial new Jewish Home constitution which makes it easier for the party to reach out to a broader constituency, including, Russians, secular Jews and non-Jews.