Dima Tayeh, a Muslim woman with Israeli citizenship, announced she will run in the Likud primaries with the objective of becoming a Member of Knesset.
Tayeh, from the village of Kafr Manda in the Galilee, is a well-known defender of Israel and has appeared on Arabic television networks in this capacity.
In an interview on an Arab news channel in October, Tayeh challenged the allegation that Israel is an apartheid state and expressed pride in being a citizen of the Jewish state.
“Israel is not an apartheid state and whoever says it is should be ashamed! I am proud of the State of Israel,” she declared.
She has also traveled to the US with Reservists on Duty, an organization of Israeli reserve combat soldiers and officers who counter the BDS movement on college campuses across America.
When announcing her candidacy on Tuesday, Tayeh praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party and defended the Nation-State Law, which some say discriminate against minorities in Israel.
“I am proud to run in the Likud primaries, as an Arab, as a woman, as a Muslim who is extending a hand to her community and trying to help them and the State of Israel, and to improve its image,” she told Hadashot TV.
She assailed the Arab political parties active in the Knesset, charging that they do not serve their constituency.
Tayeh’s family on Wednesday issued a statement denouncing her and saying that her opinions did not represent them in any way.
“Everything said by her represents only her opinions and not ours, and we will not make any contact with her and will not support her until she returns to her religion and the people she truly belongs to,” members of the Tayeh clan of Qalansuwa stated.