'People Are Ready': Breaking Taboo, Palestinian Parties to Run in Israeli Election in Jerusalem

By Nir Hasson

'I’m not telling them to give up Al Aqsa or convert to Judaism, but we must have our place in city hall,' Ramadan Dabash, a local social activist, says

A Palestinian political party is set to contend in Jerusalem’s municipal elections in October. This is the second Palestinian party to announce it will run in the elections, which East Jerusalem’s Palestinians, on the whole, have boycotted since 1967. Ramadan Dabash, a social activist from East Jerusalem, announced this week he will head a ticket in the election, in a bid to break the Palestinian taboo on voting since the 1967 conquest of East Jerusalem.

Dabash, chairman of the community administration of the Tzur Baher neighborhood, intends to include representatives of all the Palestinian neighborhoods in his party, which he plans to call “Jerusalem for Jerusalemites.” “I think people are ripe to vote. Some people object, saying this is Israelization and normalization, but I tell them this is everyone’s municipality and everyone’s country,” Dabash says.