Israeli-Arab Haifa City Council member refuses to call Hezbollah a terror organization
Official PA TV program From the Interior, on the appointment of Israeli Arab Haifa City Council member Raja Za'atra as Haifa deputy mayor and his subsequent relinquishment of the position due to support of terror organizations, hosting Raja Za'atra
Israeli Arab Haifa City Council member Raja Za'atra: "We thought that the most appropriate and wisest decision - which on the one hand maintains our political positions, and on the other hand maintains our place within the [Haifa City Council] coalition and the services that we want to provide to our public – is this situation (i.e., Za’atra relinquishing the position of Haifa deputy mayor and his party appointing another member instead). It was not an option to retreat from the position and apologize for these political positions that we are proud of and emphasize."
Official PA TV host: "And what are the reasons? What are the reasons? Political positions? For instance, like a position regarding the Lebanese resistance (i.e., Hezbollah terror organization)? What is this-"
Raja Za'atra: "The position in general, regarding the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance is a refusal to tag Lebanese and Palestinian resistance organizations as terror; and also political positions in general, comparing the ISIS movement and Zionism’s crimes in 1948. Several things: political activity in general, demonstrations in Haifa, and the like – political positions in general. In other words, it is not about personal positions of Raja Za'atra – these are the positions of the party, Hadash, and a large part of the Arab public here in the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel)."
Raja Za'atra was appointed Haifa deputy mayor in December 2018. However he stepped down following protests due to statements of his in support of the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups. Another member of his party, Shahira Shalabi, was appointed in his place.