Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is facing his share of pressures, given the increasing likelihood that police will recommend that he be indicted on corruption charges – so an award he is set to receive this week from the local authority of Ein Mahal, a village next to Nazareth, is likely to be a welcome distraction. The Arab village will present Netanyahu with a special award for his role in enhancing regional development of the lower Galilee.
The award had originally been scheduled to be presented to Netanyahu in July, but was delayed in the wake of the summer’s tension over Har HaBayis. The local authority has received a great deal of criticism for its planned presentation, with MK Ayman Oudeh, head of the United Arab List, leading the protests by saying that Netanyahu did not deserve the award because “he is a racist from head to toe. Netanyahu incites against Israeli citizens who are Arabs, and has been doing so since his first term. Now we have this issue of Israel restricting our rights at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is unacceptable.”
Ein Mahal Mayor Walid Abu-Lil told Hadashot News that there were good reasons to present Netanyahu with the award – it could improve the local authority’s chances of getting more money from the government. In recent years, Ein Mahal has been suffering from high levels of unemployment and poverty, and Abu-Lil is interested in engaging the government to receive assistance. “Nobody has the right to criticize how we approach increasing our budget,” he said. “We know how to knock on government doors and raise money. Oudeh is just looking for votes. As far as I am concerned, Oudeh is fit to be a shepherd, not head of the UAL. He has not had one major accomplishment, as far as I can see.”