The State of Democracy in Israel
How Democracy works and doesn't work for Palestinians in Israel
Israel is often called "the only democracy in the Middle East" and therefore deserving of Western loyalty and support. Dr. Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian and a sitting member of Israel Knesset (parliament) and leader of the Balad Party (country or nation in Arabic, also known as National Democratic Alliance) speaks to the conflicts and realities of being Palestinian working in a democratic process at the highest elected level in a state that proclaims itself a Jewish state. He helps us understand:
How democratic is Israel beyond practice of elections?
How democratic are Israel's state institutions?
Why Palestinians and other non-Jews who represent close to 25% of the population have not been able to gain greater influence in the state?
What have been the voting patterns of Palestinians? What are future trends?
What opportunities are there to work with Jewish allies in Israel to gain greater power?
What is needed for Israeli democracy to be truly democratic?
Dr. Zahalka provides a unique opportunity to look inside the Knesset and the actual practice of democracy inside Israel. He is a vocal critic of the Occupation and also Apartheid against Palestinians in Israel-Palestine.
Talk to be followed by Q&A. Co-sponsored by Palestine House and CAIA-Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
About the speaker
Zahalka earned a PhD. in pharmacy at the Hebrew University and worked as a pharmacist. He was first elected to the Knesset in 2003 on Balad's list, and was re-elected in 2006. He became Balad's leader in 2007 and headed the party's list in the 2009 elections returning to the Knesset with three seats. Zahalka is an active member of Knesset with membership in several committees of the 18th Knesset. Balad retained its three seats (Basel Ghattas, Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi) the January 2013 election (19th Knesset).
Need to know:
- Doors open at 6:45
- $5 donation (suggested)
- Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
- Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities
Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) with Zatoun oliveoil+za'atar dipping.