Model Role Details

Mohammad Barakeh

Mohammad Barakeh

Sector : Public Figures , Public Figures

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1955
  • Age : 61
  • Curriculum vitae :

Information

Mohammad Barakeh is a Palestinian politician and member of the Knesset for Hadash, of which he is the General Secretary.

Born in Shefa-'Amr, Barakeh studied mathematics at Tel Aviv University. He first became politically involved whilst at university in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was head of the Association of Arab Students in Israel, and among the founders and major activists of "CAMPUS" (a Hebrew acronym of "Student Social and Political Involvement Group"), which united left-wing Jewish and Arab students in a joint struggle against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and for full equality of Israeli Arabs.

In that time, he had formed extensive political partnerships and personal friendships with Jewish fellow students, many of which continue up to the present. The rented apartment where he lived for many years on top of an old building at Rothschild Boulevard in downtown Tel Aviv was a well-known rendezvous for political meetings and also the venue of sometimes boisterous student parties lasting deep into the night. Among numerous other political actions, the first demonstration against the 1982 Lebanon War - held on the war's third day, 7 June 1982, dispersed by police with considerable violence, and still well-remembered by veterans of the Israeli peace camp - was planned at a dramatic meeting held in Barakeh's Tel Aviv apartment. Following the end of his studies, Barakeh returned to his hometown of Shefa-'Amr, a place with considerable importance in the internal politics of Israel's Arab citizens, and took up political activity in the local Maki branch. The well-known record of his student days added to his prestige and standing in a party which - though most of its members and voters are Arab - has a high regard for joint Jewish-Arab action, as a supreme ideological as well as organizational principle.

He was first elected to the Knesset in 1999, and was re-elected in 2003, after which he became Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. In February 2005, Barakeh was threatened by Kahanist activist (and now-outlawed Kach party leader) Baruch Marzel over his pivotal support for Ariel Sharon's evacuation compensation bill, a move that paved the way for Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. In a letter, Marzel wrote to Barakeh: "the evacuation bill was passed with your backing, and now it is only a matter of time before it is implemented on other sectors of society, including you and your friends." Marzel wrote that Barakeh's vote "in favor of expelling Jews from their homes in Gaza and the northern Samaria" would result in "appraisers [being] sent to your home to estimate its value."

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