The first day without Shimon Peres
Arab MKs absent from Peres funeralAs members of the Joint Arab List Knesset party continue to defend their decision not to attend Shimon Peres' funeral, it seems many others within the Israeli-Arab community think differently.
When Shimon Peres died, an Arab Israeli resident asked the mayor to announce an official day of mourning in Acre. Saliman Askari explained, “We owe this to a man who dedicated all of his efforts to peace.” Taysar Mari from Haifa added, “He was a good man. I admired him.”
It seems that many Israeli Arabs disagreed with the decision of Arab MKs from the United List to boycott Peres’ funeral. MK Aymen Odeh explained, “Peres of the nineties had two positive credits – He made great strides toward peace while cooperating with Arab Knesset Members. We have objections to the Peres of the occupation and the settlements.”
Other Arab Knesset Members attacked Odeh’s stance. Former MK Taleb Elsana posted scathing criticism on Facebook. “You can’t be against everybody – who is your partner?” he said. “It would definitely be the right thing to do to attend his funeral.”
A resident of Nazareth uploaded the protocol of the Knesset vote for Peres as President citing the support of the Arab MKs. “Now you are against him?” he stated. Others may understand the controversy but still would honor him at his funeral. “What did he do for the Arabs,” said one man. “However, Arabs as Israeli citizens should pay their last respects.”
Many thought of Peres as the only politician who truly tried to advance the Arab sector. He worked to integrate young Arabs into the high tech industry. “It is not true coexistence until the standard of living for Arabs is equal to that of Jews,” said Peres at the launch of a high tech incubator in Nazareth.
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