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Palestinian Archbishop: Don't participate in Jerusalem municipal elections
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Palestinian Archbishop to Jerusalem Arabs:
Don't participate in Jerusalem municipal elections,
it will be "exploited" to present Israel as "the democratic state"
 
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
The Palestinian Authority continues to discourage Arabs living in Jerusalem from participating in Israel's upcoming Jerusalem municipal elections. Rather than encourage Jerusalem Arabs to seek influence in Jerusalem, the PA publicized the message of the head of the Greek Orthodox Church's Sebastia Patriarchate, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, calling on Jerusalem Arabs to boycott the elections. This follows the PA Fatwa Council's prohibition on running and voting in the October elections, which Palestinian Media Watch has reported on.

Hanna warned that the participation of Jerusalem Arabs who have submitted their candidacy to the elections "will be exploited in the media for the promotion of what is called 'the democratic state [of Israel]'":

"[Hanna said:] 'The correct national position is that these elections must be boycotted, both in terms of submitting candidacy and in terms of voting.' Archbishop Hanna demanded that those who want to submit candidacy in these elections change their decision, because their presence will be exploited in the media for the promotion of what is called 'the democratic state [of Israel].'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 12, 2018]

The PA and its leaders, including the Archbishop, repeatedly publicize its false accusation that Israel is "an apartheid state" that denies rights to Arabs in Israel. Elections with free participation by Jerusalem Arabs - both as candidates and as voters - is naturally a contradiction of this PA narrative and not good for their PR.

The following is a longer excerpt of Hanna's call for boycotting the Jerusalem municipal elections:

Headline: "Archbishop Hanna: We oppose participation in the elections of the occupation municipality in Jerusalem"
"Head of the Greek Orthodox Church's Sebastia Patriarchate Archbishop Atallah Hanna said: 'We oppose the Palestinians' participation in the elections for the occupation municipality in Jerusalem, and view [the elections] as one of many signs of the occupation in the holy city.'
In a statement that was issued yesterday [Sept. 11, 2018], he said: 'The [Palestinian] involvement in the elections gives legitimacy to one of many institutions of the occupation, which strives and works to change Jerusalem's features and character.' He added: 'The correct national position is that these elections must be boycotted, both in terms of submitting candidacy and in terms of voting.' Archbishop Hanna demanded that those who want to submit candidacy in these elections change their decision, because their presence will be exploited in the media for the promotion of what is called 'the democratic state [of Israel].'
He concluded by saying: 'Whoever wants to serve Jerusalem - there are other means and many ways through which one can serve our holy city without legitimizing the occupation, its institutions, and its authorities in the city.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 12, 2018]

 


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