Jews to Europe, Palestinians to Haifa

If Haneen Zoabi weren’t around, the right would have to invent her. Because if not, where else could one channel the hatred that is raging here?

Saja Abu Fanni
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Haneen Zoabi.
Haneen Zoabi.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Saja Abu Fanni
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When MK Haneen Zoabi posts the following shocking words on her Facebook page: “In wars, usually the Zionist enemy is an entire nation, with its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure,” she doesn’t belong in the Knesset. There’s no place in the Knesset for someone who says: “They are all fighters belonging to the Zionist enemy, and they all deserve to die. Now it already includes their mothers, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow in the footsteps of their sons, there’s nothing more just. They must go, and so must the physical home where they raised the snake. Otherwise more little snakes will grow up there.” Woe to the hand that writes and woe to the mind that utters the words of the devil.

But MK Ahmed Tibi, who says: “The Jews are like shrapnel in the butt,” also belongs in the reeducation camp. He also declares that he has killed a large number of Zionist terrorists, “and there’s no problem with that.”

In general, the Joint List, which has adopted the campaign slogan “Jews to Europe, Palestinians to Haifa,” should be disqualified. As we know, the head of the slate, Iman Odeh, invented the slogan “Faina to Moldavia,” and Aida Touma-Suliman calls to boycott businesses that support the Israel Defense Forces.

You can calm down – the Arab MKs did not say these things. But the basics of fairness requires you to put yourself in the place of the other, the Arab citizen, who is exposed daily to these harmful words, with nobody being held responsible. On the contrary, MK Ayelet Shaked (the snakes), MK Naftali Bennett (the shrapnel), MK Avigdor Lieberman (the boycott), journalist Sharon Gal (“Haneen to Jenin”) are the darlings of the media.

This incitement is the promo for the main event: the ceremony of crucifying the representatives of the Arabs in the city square by the Jewish majority on the Central Elections Committee. Meanwhile the Zionist Camp is also joining in. This camp is strange. The closer it comes to attaining power, the more right-wing it becomes. One term ago Isaac Herzog objected to disqualifying Zoabi because disqualification is “a slippery and dangerous slope,” as he put it. Now he is supporting it. And what will happen if becomes prime minister?

Let’s get back to Zoabi. If she weren’t around, the right would have to invent her. Because if not, where else could one channel the hatred that is raging here? But Zoabi didn’t incite to murder, didn’t call for the expulsion of Jews, didn’t call Jewish children snakes. Through the fog of incitement she rejected the kidnapping of the yeshiva boys last summer, and said: “One of the pillars of strength of the Palestinian victim is that his struggle is just and that he uses strategy that is just and legitimate according to international law.”

The attorney general, who was asked why no criminal investigation was opened against her for saying that the kidnappers are “not terrorists,” said: “The presentation of the words of the Knesset member in the media was only partial, and not all her statements, which also relate to her reservations about the kidnapping, were mentioned These reservations were not expressed in the media.”

But the Israeli right judges first, and then prepares an indictment.

Zoabi’s sin is that she links Palestinian violence to the occupation. About 2,000 people are killed in Gaza, but Israeli society is shocked to hear about a link, even a very weak one, between the occupation and Palestinian counterattacks. Soon the occupation, which is sensitive about its good name, will disseminate instructions as to how to describe the actions of the Palestinians. Anything less than calling them terrorists, bloodthirsty, cannibals, wild animals – and you don’t belong in the Knesset.

But peace lovers also have to get to work and compose a parallel code: Anyone who claims that killing 2,000 people in Gaza is defined as self-defense doesn’t belong in the Knesset. And anyone who doesn’t condemn the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza is a supporter of terror. Has anyone heard a single condemnation, from the champions of disqualification, of the killing of 13 Arab citizens in October 2000?

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