Anet Haskia is not the typical mom of a soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces. But Haskia, a Muslim Arab who grew up in a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the north, is breathing a little easier this week.
For Haskia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to enter the Gaza Strip last week was “brave and right.”
The mother of three children, with a 20-year-old IDF combat soldier, Haskia told Tazpit News Agency that “many Israeli soldiers’ lives were saved thanks to that decision.”
“Going into Gaza would have yielded success for the Hamas terrorists. Israel did what it had to do for the time being to stop the rocket attacks, and played it smart.”
Haskia who was born and raised in Acre (Akko), a mixed Arab-Jewish city in the Western Galilee in northern Israel, is openly vocal about her support for the Jewish state of Israel.
“I am proud to live in Israel,” she says. “I am even prouder for the fact that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country.”
“If I were living in Gaza, I would have no rights as a woman under Hamas,” explained Haskia. “And you can’t expect anything different—Hamas is a terror organization, they treat people like animals with no regard to human life. They will never hold democratic elections like we do in Israel.”
“I’m open about these truths,” adds Haskia. “The Arab MKs in the Israeli Knesset don’t represent me. The extremist left-wing in Israel also doesn’t represent me and others in my community, who share my beliefs. Those corrupt politicians just contribute to hate, incitement and lies.”
“When an IDF soldier is killed in combat, not one Arab MK will stand up and offer his condolences to the bereaved family,” she exclaims. “These Arab MKs enjoy democratic rights but don’t appreciate them.”
Anet explains that her attitude toward the Jewish state as a member of the Arab minority stems from the fact that she was raised in a home that “respected both Hebrew and Arabic speakers.”
“When I grew up in Akko, we had good relations between Jewish and Arab families.”
“I realized early on that I wanted my children to advance in Israeli society. They studied in a private Jewish school on a kibbutz and were exposed to a different mentality. It was not an easy road, but I taught my children to always be proud of their identity and not to cry and whine like our politicians.”
During Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Haskia did not just sit worried over what may happen to her son – the proud mom did her share to help Israel as well. “For more than 12 years, Hamas has been firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and all you see are photos of Gaza in the media. And some of those photos are fakes,” Haskia pointed out.
“I noticed many times in Arab media that ‘Gaza’ photos of bleeding civilians were actually photos from other Arab conflicts in the Middle East— Syria and Iraq for example. They were being used to incite hatred against Israel, so I started to post these fake photos and their origins on my Facebook wall.”
Haskia, however, has political ambitions as well. “I want to be part of Israeli politics some day and make a difference by representing my people. There are many people who are too scared to speak up, who love Israel like I do and have done well here. They want a future where their children will not fall to hatred and incitement, but overcome that. I want to be their voice,” she concludes.