Israeli Palestinian MK says she’s in to fight Israel

Posted: June 7, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Anti-Israel, Israel, Israeli Palestinians, Palestinians
Tags:

hzwithcaptionISRAELI MK HANEEN Zoabi, a radical Parliament Member from the BALAD party (the one advocating turning Israeli into a ‘democratic’ state, instead of a Jewish state) talked to extremist Left-wing Australian organization Green Left. I believe all words are useless in this case.

Here are the highlighted quotes from the article:

Zoabi: “We participate in the struggle so our own position as citizens.”

Author: “Israeli-Arab is a term used in Israel to describe the Palestinians that remained after the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Israel’s founding.”

Author: “[Naqba] caused by the ethnic cleansing that accompanied the founding of Israel in 1948.”

Author: “BALAD…advocates the reform of Israel away from being a state based on Jewish supremacy, in which the non-Jewish population are second-class citizens, into a democratic state for all.”

Author: “[Zoabi founded] I’LAM Media Centre for Arab Palestinians, an organisation aimed at combating Israeli media bias”.

Zoabi: “By raising and preserving our national identity, we are contributing to the Palestinian struggle”.

Zoabi: “Not standing still as citizens inside Israel is our contribution to the Palestinian struggle in the Occupied Territories”.

Zoabi: “when we entered the Knesset we do not enter to promote relations with Israel, but instead to struggle against Israel.”

Zoabi: “On the question of apartheid…Most of the Jewish population and the authorities in towns like Jaffa and Haifa, are trying their best to transfer Palestinians out so they can become purely Jewish towns”.

Zoabi: “We have a special case of racism in Israel… We are against the very definition of the state and this is what differentiates our struggle”.

I will just publish the whole thing, with most provocative statements highlighted. Underscored are words by piece’s author.

Palestinian MP on resistance within Israel

Stu Harrison, 23 May 2009

“We don’t live in the territories, we cannot throw stones and we cannot participate in the legitimate resistance against occupation”, Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) told Green Left Weekly.

We participate in the struggle so our own position as citizens. Our unique role is a political resistance and not, for example, an armed resistance.”

Zoabi is the first Palestinian woman to be elected to the Knesset, representing a so-called Israeli-Arab party. Israeli-Arab is a term used in Israel to describe the Palestinians that remained after the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Israel’s founding.

Zoabi is one of three sitting members from the National Democratic Assembly (BALAD).

She has been speaking in Australia to mark the 61st anniversary of al Nakba — the Palestinian catastrophe caused by the ethnic cleansing that accompanied the founding of Israel in 1948.

BALAD is a nationalist party for Palestinians who still live within Israel. It advocates the reform of Israel away from being a state based on Jewish supremacy, in which the non-Jewish population are second-class citizens, into a democratic state for all. (—Oh, but it’s okay in, say Iran or Syria? – JMB)

BALAD’s Chairman Azmy Beshara is currently in exile after being accused of collaborating with Hezbollah during Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon. It is one of three main Palestinian parties in Israel, the other two being the left-wing Hadash and the Islamist-influenced United Arab List (Ra’am).

Zoabi lives in Nazareth and previously worked as a journalist. She founded the I’LAM Media Centre for Arab Palestinians, an organisation aimed at combating Israeli media bias.

Zoabi was elected in February, just after Israel’s December-January war on Gaza had ended. It was a chance she nearly didn’t receive, after the Israeli far-right sought to ban “Israeli-Arab” parties from running in the elections.

This position was backed by the Central Electoral Committee in a 27-3 vote. This ruling was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Despite this, Zoabi remains positive about the contribution the Palestinian community inside Israel, numbering at 1.2 million, can make to the wider struggle for Palestinian freedom.

She said: “By raising and preserving our national identity, we are contributing to the Palestinian struggle. If the Palestinian refugees struggle for their rights, they are on the side of all Palestinians and when we also struggle for our rights and stand up for our people, this assists the struggle.

“We participated in demonstrations during the war on Gaza. About 200,000 Palestinians out of 1.2 million marched — one sixth of the Palestinian population. It means that in every house in Palestine there was one person who demonstrated.

Not standing still as citizens inside Israel is our contribution to the Palestinian struggle in the Occupied Territories [of the West Bank and Gaza Strip].”

Around the world, calls for boycotts against Israel have grown and have been supported by the Palestinian parties in Israel.

However, the situation is different for Palestinians inside Israel, Zoabi said. “If, as citizens, we boycott the parliament, this would mean that we also boycott the struggle because when we entered the Knesset we do not enter to promote relations with Israel, but instead to struggle against Israel.”

While Zoabi said for those outside Israel to promote relations with the Jewish state works against the struggle, “by boycotting Israel I am boycotting a whole area of struggle for my rights”.

Zoabi’s election also coincided with a general move to the right in Israeli politics. Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister with the support of the racist far-right Israel Our Home party of Avigdor Lieberman.

Zoabi believes that this has been caused by a combination of weaknesses in the three traditional support groups for Palestine within Israel: the Palestinian community and parties, the Israeli left Zionist (supporters of Israel as Jewish state) “peace camp” and the broader anti-Zionist forces.

The left-Zionist party Meretz, traditionally seen as part of the “peace camp”, supported the war on Gaza. The result was it dropped from holding five seats to three.

Zoabi said the current state of the Palestinian resistance also fed into the right-wing sentiment in Israel.

“When you face a weakened Arab leadership and a disempowered Palestinian Authority or Palestinian negotiator, you would say, why do I need peace?

“Before [the 1993 Oslo peace accords, then Israeli PM Yitzhak] Rabin had reached a conviction that they need peace because occupation was costly. You need peace when war or occupation is costly.”

The affect of the weakening of Palestinian resistance has been profound.

Zoabi said: “The rate of hostility has increased a lot. Seventy-five percent of Jewish people do not want to live in a society with Arabs.

On the question of apartheid, most towns are mixed, with both Arabs and Jews. Most of the Jewish population and the authorities in towns like Jaffa and Haifa, are trying their best to transfer Palestinians out so they can become purely Jewish towns. (—Any proof of this? Certain cases surely exist, but I would love to see evidence of such actions being widespread. – JMB)

“They prevent the Palestinians from renovating their homes and they are trying to push them into giving up their homes so they will leave. Arabs are being attacked a lot more in the streets and in their market shops, comparing the last year to previous years.”

However, Zoabi said such attitudes are nothing new. “We have a special case of racism in Israel. You can’t find this kind of racism in any other country in the world, where the state usually defines itself neutrally.

“This is not the case in Israel. We don’t struggle simply against discriminating policies or attitudes. We are against the very definition of the state and this is what differentiates our struggle.”

In fighting back, Zoabi believes Palestinian parties in Israel play an important part in bringing Palestinian people together and helping people rediscover their national character.

Zoabi said: “Over the last 60 years through continuous policies, Israel has tried to create an ‘Arab-Israeli’. But it is their own creation.

“This is a person who has no roots, no belonging, no nationality, no culture, who owes their existence to Israel.”

Zoabi said that in the part, Palestinians inside Israel have been used as a bridge for negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

But she believes that this is a role that can no longer be maintained: “We are part of the Palestinian people and our role in the struggle is to make sure the Palestinian people, our people, have our rights as occupiers, as citizens of Israel and as refugees.

“We have these three groups of Palestinians, each of them have their special historical rights and all three combined represent the whole of the Palestinian people.”

What can I say? Denying Jewish people their home is the purest kind of anti-Semitism.

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Comments
  1. […] – both Israeli and non-citizens – will begin to change their ways of incitement and fight against Israel, Lieberman (and others like him) are not going […]

  2. ivarfjeld says:

    Dear Jonathan.

    The state of Israel is surely a miracle. Its a miracle too, that this young lady has been granted grace by the Jewish Majority in Israel.

    The day Israel puts this young lady to silence, Hizbullah, Hamas and President Obama will just get more ammunition. That this young lady can speak so freely, and even sit in the parliament is in fact a great victory for Israel. It makes your country a light to all nation, a very different place from all her enemies.

    Let her talk, and let God of Israel be the protector of his people and his country.

    The state of Israel was founded on secular Zionism. You have to live with people, who do not want this Zionist project to survive. But when God is with Israel, why do you fear?

  3. Ivar,

    Sadly, you are correct. I am all for democracy, but isn’t having a party whose mission it is to change Israel is such radical way a wise thing? I mean, what if in France there’d be a party calling to make France an Arab country, instead of one for French people? Or what if they’d call for Belgium to become a strictly Christian country, instead of a democracy?

    This lady is going too far and I do not believe she deserves a place in Israeli parliament.

  4. ivarfjeld says:

    What to say. This lady has been elected to the Parliament of a free and democratic country. She is enjoying the freedom to publicly express her inner feelings and opinions.

    If she had been a Jew, living in Iran or Saudi Arabia, would she…

    Oh, i forgot. Jews with an Israeli passport are not permitted to enter neither the Islamic Republic of Iran, nor the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    This young lady, might be the best expression of Jewish grace. (grace means undeserved kindness). Jews and Christians are called to bless, even their enemies. May the soul of this young lady rest in peace, the day she shall depart and face the God of Israel.

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