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February 11, 1983 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-02-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, February 11, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

5

Herut's Arab Member from Nazareth

By MOSHE RON

The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — The inspec-
tor of all mosques in
Nazareth, Assad Jasbek, is
a member of the Herut Cen-
tral Committee and an ad-
mirer of Israeli Prime
Minister Menahem Begin.
He speaks about Begin as if
he were a holy prophet.
He ,calls Ariel Sharon a
hero, and he tells his Arab
friends that in no other
country do Arabs live better
than in Israel.
Assad Jasbek lives in a
large and comfortable
apartment. Nazareth is a
stronghold of the Com-
munist Party, but Assad is a
partisan of Menahem Begin
and a strong supporter of
Herut.
"I support everything
Begin does," he told us. "If
the Arabs would have three
or four Begins, there would
never have been any wars
with Israel. If one needs
peace, Begin is a man of
peace.. If one needs war,
Begin is a man of war. If
only Jordan and Syria
would have learned from
Begin and taken Min as an
example . . ."
When Assad meets Is-
raeli journalists, he ex-
presses the .views of the
extreme members of

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Herut. The correspon-
dent of Maariv, Avi Be-
telheim, wrote in an arti-
cle that if he had not met
Assad in his apartment
and talked to him he
would never have be-
lieved that such an Arab
could exist.
Assad, who is 52 years
old, was born in Nazareth as
a son of one of the oldest and
most important Moslem
families of the town. He
finished his studies in a
high school in Nazareth in
1948. When the War of In-
dependence broke out, he
left the country and served
for four years in the Syrian
and Jordanian armies. In
1952 he returned home and
became a high-ranking
clerk in the Municipality of
Nazareth.
After the Six-Day War, he
joined the Mapai Party and
was active in the Arab De-
partment of the Histadrut
Executive. In 1972 he
changed parties and joined
Herut. He often visited the
Herut Central Building in
Tel Aviv and met Begin
several times.
"Begin is today my per-
sonal friend," Assad says
proudly. When Herut was
elected in 1977, Assad ad-
vanced to the office of Chief
Moslem Custodian in
Nazareth as inspector of all
mosques. He gets his salary
from the Ministry for Reli-
gious Affairs in Jerusalem.
Today he is the father of
eight and grandfather of
four.
It was not easy for him
to change from the ideol-
ogy of Berl Katznelson
and Ben-Gurion to that of
Jabotinsky and Begirt.
When he walked in the
streets of Nazareth,
people pointed at him as
the "partisan of
Menahem Begin, who
wishes to liquidate the
Arabs." People spat and
threw stones at him. In
vain he tried to convince
people that the Herut
Party was for the Arabs
and not against them.
Assad said that he had
heard about Jabotinsky's

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WASHINGTON — The
Reagan Administration in
its annual report on human
rights issued Tuesday, cited
serious human rights viola-
tions in nations around the
world, including some that
are friendly to the United
States.
In a section on Israel, the
report says that although
the nation is a parliamen-
tary democracy with full
freedom of speech and the
press, relations with the
Arabs in the occupied ter-
ritories have caused "sig-
nificant human rights prob-
lems." In the West Bank
and Gaza, the report said,
Israeli forces were observed
"roughing up" individuals,
freedom of expression was
"restricted" and there were
cases of Arabs being impris-
oned for several months
without formal charges or
trial.

saying, that if there would
be a suitable Arab in the
Revisionist Movement to be
its leader, he should be
elected.
Assad did not read the
books of Jabotinsky but had
heard that he advocated
equal rights for all. "It is
time to translate the writ-
ings of Jabotinsky into
Arabic," Assad says.
Assad advocates coopera-
tion between the Palesti-
nian Arabs and King Hus-
sein. "There is no other al-
ternative," he says. He vis-
ited Jordan two years ago.
The Palestinian Arabs must
free themselves from the
influence of radical ele-
ments. They must give up
the dream of a Palestinian
state. There should be such
a state, but its capital is
Amman. Begin should de-
cide the future of the West
Bank and the Gaza Zone.
Assad does not hide his
hatred for the Labor Align-
ment. "If the Labor Party
wishes to solve the Palesti-
nian problem with a territo-
rial compromise, why did it
not execute this solution
when the party was in
power until 1977?" Assad
asks. "Why didn't the Pales-
tinians demand an inde-
pendent Palestinian state
before 1967?"
Assad criticizes the

Labor Alignment. "The
Arabs in Nazareth are
not Communists," he
said. "The Labor Align-
ment turned them in to
Communists. At the time
of the Alignment power,
many Arab-owned areas
were confiscated and
many Arab houses de-
molished."
Assad admits that during
the Herut regime many
Arab-owned territories
were confiscated in Judea,
Samaria and Gaza. "This is
a different matter," he ex-
plains. "I was referring to
areas of Israeli Arabs. As
long as I am a proud Israeli
Arab, I must support the
country in which I am liv-
ing. I cannot do anything for
the Arabs in other coun-
tries. For them their kings
and presidents should care

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