|I could not locate a photo of Mr. Bader. Thus, this stand in will have to suffice.|
Israeli Arab to form new pro-Israel party -Gil Hoffman
In the next general election, there will be a new Arab party. But what is tentatively labeled the Israeli-Arab Nationalist Party will be very different from the current Arab factions in the Knesset.
While those factions’ MKs have been criticized for being too extreme and vocal in their criticism of the Jewish state, the new party will be unabashedly pro-Israel and take a very different approach.
“Most Arab citizens are in favor of coexisting, cooperating and living in harmony with Jewish Israelis,” the party’s founder, Sarhan Bader, told The Jerusalem Post. “The other Arab parties place too much emphasis on the Palestinians and external Arabs. But it’s more important to serve the Arabs inside Israel who want to live here in peace with our Jewish cousins. After we solve the problems of internal Arabs, we can help the Palestinians.”
Bader said he would fight for the rights of Israeli Arabs and fair expression for his sector, which he said totaled 22 percent of the population. He said his party would represent its constituency better than the current Arab parties, in part because he intends to join the coalition, which no Arab party has ever done.
“To serve the Arabs properly, it’s important to work together with the ruling party in the coalition,” he said. “The Druse MKs who are part of the coalition help their constituency a hundred times more than every Arab MK in the opposition. I will dramatically improve things for the Arab sector.”
Bader, 36, has been involved in local politics for many years in Nahaf, his Upper Galilee village.