Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Azmi Bashara – Bad Boy or True Arab Patriot?

The furor over Balad Party leader Azmi Bashara's political future makes many Israelis wonder if he may be the beginning of other Arab Israeli Knesset parliamentarians going over to "the other side".

And that 'other side' may be Israel's enemies, including radical Islamic countries like
Syria and Iran.

Mr. Bashara's radical political views in respect to being a member of the Israeli Knesset have often gotten him into trouble with the Israeli government, particularly among the more right wing political spectrum, including the Likud and other parties who take a dim view of such actions. Bashara's frequent trips to neighboring Arab countries, resulting in his hob-knobbing with such people as exiled Hamas leader Khalid Maashal and Syrian leader Baashar Al-Assad, has resulted in many Israelis calling for his ouster from his parliamentary seat as well as indictment for seditious anti-government activities.
Other Arab Knesset political leaders, including Taal Party leader Dr. Ahmad Tibi, seem moderate in comparison to Bashara, who has been advocating the disillusion of the Jewish character of the state in favor of a secular one.

Presently "languishing" in a posh Amman Jordan hotel suite, Bashara is pondering both his political as well as personal future. Carefully weighing his options, he is considering returning to Israel and coming into the line of fire by an unfriendly, Jewish parliamentary majority who seem bent on kicking him and possibly his political party from Israel for good. Or, to voluntarily give up his Knesset seat and show his true personal and political "spots" by officially emigrating to either Syria, Lebanon, or Jordan.

Syria, and possibly other countries unfriendly to Israel may want to use Bashara as a propaganda tool against the Jewish State by having him send a clear message to other Arabs holding Israeli nationality that the time as come for them to decide as to with whom their loyalty really lies. For Bashara himself, it's becoming more and more evident regarding where he wants to be; and that place is not within a Jewish dominated and governed republic. One might wonder if Bashara would consider becoming involved in Palestinian politics; but most likely, even he is not that stupid, judging from the current state of anarchy which is tearing the Palestinian Authority apart and which almost led to civil war.

Most Israelis would like to see Bashara exit Israeli politics; and the country as well. His continued presence in both has been damaging to all, to say the very least.
Other Israeli Arab politicians, many of whom live very comfortable lives in the Jewish Republic, must now decide who really butters their bread; for life in most neighboring Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan, may not be nearly as pleasant as life within the 'confines' of the State of Israel.

At the end of the day, many Arab-Israeli politicians may decide that they have never had it so good, Bashara included.

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