Arab MK slams Netanyahu over election date (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By STUART WINER 05/07/12)
TIMES OF ISRAEL
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An Arab MK has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of racism
after it emerged that September 4, the date chosen for upcoming
elections, will fall out shortly after the Muslim holy month of
MK Raleb Majadele (Labor) accused the prime minister of deliberately
choosing the election date to hamper Arab political activity before
the elections, the News1 website reported on Monday.
Majadele said for religious reasons he would break party ranks and
not vote with Labor in favor of the September 4 date.
Ramadan this year begins around July 20 and ends a month later with
the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.The entire period is traditionally a time
during which religious Muslims avoid any political activity. As a
result, Israel’s Muslim population will have only about two weeks to
prepare for the national elections.
Majadele said the prime minister chose the date to neutralize Arab
political activity, thereby hampering the left-wing camp.
“The prime minister is putting us at a disadvantage and is not
maintaining equal rights in the elections,” Majadele said. “He is
taking into consideration the Jews who are having their summer
holidays but is not prepared to take into consideration the 13
percent of the population who are in the month of Ramadan, a holy
month of fasting. In my opinion it is deliberate.”
Majadele said he had already notified Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich
of his intentions and had received a letter from the chairman of the
Labor faction in the Knesset, Isaac Herzog, giving him freedom to
vote as he pleased regarding the September 4 date. (© 2012 THE TIMES
OF ISRAEL 05/07/12)
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