Thursday, April 26, 2007

I don't think I ever commented on the Azmi Bishara affair or on his activities during the last year. While I admire his eloquence and his very sharp mind it was obvious to me that he has often balanced on the edge of what a democracy that is ( constantly ) at war can allow its citizens, and particularly its parliamentarians, to do. I never really had the impression that he used his talents and his position to serve the interests of Israel's Arabs, who - you do not have to be a leftwing extremist to realize that - face bias and discrimination in what, considering the circumstances, is still a relatively well functioning democracy. Of course Mr Bishara is innocent until proven guilty, and of course the authorities have their reasons to target this wellspoken Arab nationalist in particular. Still, I never suspected him of being a coward, as he never shied away from the limelights of the media or from the tentacles of the law when he was convinced that he was in the right. Now that we have an idea of the extremely serious suspicions against him, I hope for him, for Israel's Arabs, and the country's democracy, and for the state as a whole that his basically fleeing the country is not in fact an admission of guilt.

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