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Jamal Zahalka

Jamal Zahalka

Arab politician in Israel
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Politician
Countries Israel
Gender male
Birth January 11, 1955 (Israel)
Residence Kafr Qara
Education Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The details

Dr Jamal Zahalka (Arabic: جمال زحالقة‎‎, Hebrew: ג'מאל זחאלקה‎‎; born 11 January 1955) is an Israeli Arab who serves as a member of the Knesset representing the Balad party. He is a Balad party leader.


Zahalka studied pharmacy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earning a BA, MA and PhD, and then worked as a pharmacist. His doctoral thesis was on the physiological properties of hashish.

He was first elected to the Knesset in 2003 on Balad's list, and was re-elected in 2006.

After Azmi Bishara fled the country, Zahalka became Balad's leader. He headed the party's list in the 2009 elections, and was returned to the Knesset as the party won three seats.

Zahalka is an active member of Knesset, and is a member of the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee; the Committee on Drug Abuse; and the Economic Affairs Committee in the 18th Knesset.

Zahalka lives in Kafr Qara and is married with three children.

Views on the treatment of Palestinians by Israel

Zahalka describes Israel's political discourse about the Palestinians as revolving around the ideas of separation, apartheid, and transfer. He argues that an apartheid system is already in place, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip separated into "cantons," and Palestinians required to carry permits to travel between them.

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