Many Israeli-Arabs are expressing their disgust with Knesset members from the Joint Arab List who decided to boycott the funeral of former President Shimon Peres on Friday.
“I don’t think that there will be anyone else who will be able to do what Peres did for the sake of Israelis and Arabs, ” said an Israeli-Arab who himself attended the funeral.
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“The fact that even (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas shed a tear says it all. Sadly, (Haneen) Zoabi and (Ayman) Oudeh don’t represent the whole sector.”
A relative of Haneen Zoabi, Nael Zoabi, came out against his relative’s actions. “The Joint Arab List has done a huge injustice to the memory of Shimon Peres. I believe that their actions are in-humane and don’t represent us. I’m embarrassed by what they did. It wasn’t done in good taste whatsoever.”
Joint Arab List Chairman Ayman Oudeh responded to the criticism, saying “while I expressed my sorrows to the family in private, the funeral was not a private matter – it was done in order to help construct a collective memory, a memory which refuses to acknowledge the pain of the Arab minority.”
Shimon Peres’s son in law Rafi Valdan expressed his disappointment, saying “the Israeli-Arabs lost an extraordinary opportunity to express their appreciation for a man who did more than anyone else to bring peace and love to Jews and Arabs.”
By Goel Bano, Yuval Karni, and Elior Levy, Ynet News