HAIFA, Israel – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Israel and Arab Israeli lawmaker Issam Mahoul and wife, Su’ad, survived a car bomb explosion and fire on Oct. 24. Mahoul represents the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) in Israel’s parliament (Knesset). Police are investigating the attack.
Hadash supporters staged a solidarity demonstration near Mahoul’s home and denounced the bombing, as did Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav and Knesset member Amram Mitzna. The Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, phoned Mahoul and expressed his shock at the incident.
The Communist Party of Israel also condemned the bombing, linking it to the radical right policies, racism and the occupation of Palestinian lands. “We place the responsibility for this wretched murder attempt on the radical right, which draws its inspiration from the war crimes committed daily in the occupied territories. Again we state our position that the 37 year long occupation not only is destroying the Palestinian people, but also the Israeli society and is undermining the foundations of democracy,” the statement said.
The CPI called on the Israeli army to withdraw from the territories and for a just peace between Israel and “the Palestinian state-to-be.” Calling on Jews and Arabs to act together for a just peace, the CPI also warned against the “threat of fascism.”
The explosion happened while Su’ad was backing out of their driveway to pick up their twins from school. She jumped out as the car was engulfed in flames. Mahoul told the World he was sitting in the second family car at the time of the explosion.
Later Su’ad told reporters she had to hail a taxi in order to pick up their children. There was no doubt that it was an attempt to assassinate her husband, she said.
Mahoul said he has no personal enemies, but received several threats by phone.
“I see this attack as a threat to democracy in Israel,” he said.
Mahoul has been an outspoken advocate against the occupation, for a Palestinian state and a just peace. He is one of the 10 Arab-Palestinian lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset.
Hans Lebrecht contributed to this story.