Joint Arab List head: “I’m not part of the celebration of Peres’ life”

Although dozens of leaders from around the world are planning to attend the funeral of Israel’s 9th President, Arab MKs are still refusing to express condolences over Shimon Peres’ passing.
Odeh Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90/Channel 2 News

World leaders, royal families, ministers and heads of parliament have all expressed their condolences following the death of Israel’s 9th President. However, some politicians and leaders in Israel are firmly refusing to mark Shimon Peres’ passing or express any appreciation for his actions.

Ever since the news about Peres’ passing made headlines, no member of the Joint Arab List has issued a statement offering his or her condolences. MK Basel Ghattas, who harshly spoke out against Israel’s 9th President when he was hospitalized in critical condition, refused to comment when he was asked why he has not mentioned Peres’ death.

In addition, Joint Arab List head MK Ayman Odeh dismissed the criticism that was hurled towards the members of his political party due to their silence. “This is something complex, not easy,” said Odeh during an interview with Army Radio. “There’s a completely different political perception. Complex messages can be brought up later.”

“In the 1990s, Peres led the Arab population to be a legitimate part of Israeli politics and that is in his merit,” mentioned Odeh. “Another thing that is no less important was leading the way towards the Oslo Accords.”

“I’m not part of the celebration of Peres’ life,” clarified Odeh. “However, out of respect, I chose to keep quiet during this period. I will not participate in Peres’ funeral. I am not part of the celebration regarding the nuclear reactor, the year 1948 and his cooperation with [David] Ben Gurion.”

In contrast, former MK Taleb al-Sana attacked the behavior of the Arab MKs. In a post he uploaded to his Facebook Page, al-Sana wrote: “Why are we mad at Peres? He was a politician who served his country. We need to be mad at the leaders of the Arab world who aren’t serving their nations and moreover, they are murdering their people and behaving like dictators.”

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