Arab MKs to Boycott Peres Funeral

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ayman Odeh (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Ayman Odeh. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

While leaders of dozens of nations are arriving in Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres Friday, one Israeli politician who will be boycotting the event is MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the United Arab List. Speaking to Army Radio, Odeh said that after internal discussions, the party’s MKs had decided that it would “not be appropriate” for them to attend the funeral.

“I will say it in the way I want to say it,” Odeh told Army Radio Thursday. “I am not participating in this ‘celebration of history,’ which is all about the events of 1948 and nuclear weapons,” referring to Peres’s role in the establishment of the Dimona nuclear facility and alleged role in the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons capacity. “I think all of these things brought disaster on other nations and on my nation in 1948.”

Several weeks ago, before Peres’s death, UAL MK Basel Ghattas launched a diatribe against Peres on social media, accusing him of “wallowing in Arab blood. He has been around for a long time, he seems to have seven souls. Peres was one of the pioneers of the Zionist enterprise – especially of its colonialist settlement policies. He was one of the most cruel to the Palestinians, and one of the most damaging.

“Despite all this, Peres was able to portray himself as a ‘dove of peace,’” Ghattas continued. “He even won a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, without assistance from us Arab MKs he would not have succeeded. Upon his death we will remember him for his tyrannical war crimes. He is covered in blood from head to toe. We will not rush to participate in the festival of sorrow and collective sadness,” he added.