Israeli Arab lawmaker Azmi Bishara has abruptly ended a parliamentary career built on denouncing the Jewish state from enemy capitals and then dodging charges of sedition at home.
Omar Baransi, a 71-year-old retired building contractor with a lined, leathery face, brags that he won't be voting in Israel's general election on Jan. 28. "We don't trust anyone these days," he said, "not even the Arab candidates. We've been citizens for 55 years and nothing has changed."
For the first time ever, an Arab citizen of Israel is running for prime minister. He is first-term Knesset member Azmi Bishara, one of the leading intellectuals in the Arab world, and one of the most provocative politicians of any ethnicity in Israel.