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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hanin Zoabi’

Netanyahu Tells Knesset He Wants ‘Broader Government,’ Herzog: Stop Zigzagging

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

During Monday’s special plenary session honoring the memory of Theodor Herzl, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) said, “I wonder what Herzl would have said had he seen the massive construction, the building of roads, the economic growth, the absorption of immigration, the scientific innovations and the fact that the state of the Jews discovered gas at sea and will extract it for the benefit of its citizens.”

“I met today with the French Prime Minister and stressed that [the Israeli] government wants peace,” Netanyahu also said, relating, “I told him that I seek to move forward in the diplomatic process on the basis of the outline of a demilitarized Palestinian state which recognizes the Jewish state. [But] the two principles of demilitarization and mutual recognition are not preconditions for the opening of negotiations. The process must be direct, bilateral and devoid of international dictates.”

“I am working with all my power to expand the coalition,” the PM told the Plenum, speaking as he did on the eve of signing a new deal with MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu to join his coalition government, expanding it from 61 to 67 members. “I said I would do so when we established the government, and I am continuing with these efforts to form a government that is as broad as possible. The door is open to anyone who wants to [join] for the good of the country. There is much to do and a lot to fix, but there is no justification for the complaining that is rampant in certain circles. Israel is a stable, advanced, innovative and democratic state, and this House is proof of that.”

Following the Prime Minister’s speech, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp – Labor) addressed last week’s political storm in which many have depicted him as being used by Netanyahu for leverage to bring in Lieberman. “During the past couple of weeks I have stood upright against unprecedented attacks, against an incited crowd and against violent exclamations which I have never heard before,” Herzog complained, adding, realisticly, “It is possible that I have jeopardized my political seat, and have shaken it so much that it will be difficult to stabilize. But as opposed to other leaders – I did not join politics to pass the time. In an era where leaders change their minds according to the morning wind blowing on Facebook, I have chosen to stick to my words.”

Herzog’s poison arrow was shot unambiguously at MK Shelly Yachimovich, the former Labor chairwoman Herzog had unseated, whom he nicknamed “Princes of Facebook,” for her frequent—albeit effective and biting—posts.

“In the past couple of months, due to the terror wave and the futile feeling which characterizes the relationship with our neighbors, I have tried to evaluate the situation [based on the statements] of senior leaders from around the world and our region,” Herzog continued to make his case. “Some may seem familiar to you and some less, some are part of the senior leadership of the area and some are younger, whose names cannot be revealed yet. These leaders have a crucial influence over our fate, the fate of our families and children. I wanted with all my might to identify the glimpse of light in the darkness. I have reached the conclusion that we are facing a rare regional opportunity based on a group of Arab leaders who are moderate, young, powerful and lack the Israel complex that their predecessors have had, and who are willing to take action and lead a powerful and stirring process against our neighbors.”

“I have chosen to risk my internal political status and extend a hand to the rival political leader about whom I have said during the elections – ‘it’s either us or him’ – in order to recruit all possible national power and together change the present and the future of our children,” Herzog continued his gallant attempt to explain his abysmal failure in negotiating with his “rival political leader.”

“I know I have let down many of my supporters, my colleagues and friends and a broad public that did not believe Netanyahu in the first place, but I had decided anyhow to not let the opportunity slip away as it stands right in front of our eyes and depends upon Israel having a different, more moderate, government. That is the condition. I chose to give it a try,” Herzog stated.

“Sadly, at the end of the day, while choosing between being a leader that will be remembered in history as going against the flow, and a leader that goes with the flow into the ocean of forgetfulness, Netanyahu has made his choice,” Herzog lamented. “He has slammed the door on the European and American leaders and became a captive of the extremist political group which will lead him and us into a national disaster which we are already a part of, and some of us decide to live in the illusion that everything will be fine.”

In this context, Herzog did not explain how a 55% majority of the House can be considered “extremist” while the remaining 45% are the proverbial moderates. In effect, he described anyone on the right as extremist, while anyone on the left, including the Joint Arab List’s MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas, who stood at attention in honor of Arab terrorists killed by Israel, are part of the moderate center.

“I am sorry Mr. Netanyahu that you have chosen to zigzag again,” said Herzog, whose zigzagging during the 2015 campaign included landing MK Tzipi Livni and five colleagues in top spots on his party’s candidates list, and changing the party name from the traditional—and honest—Labor to Zionist Camp, which includes renowned Zionist MK Zouheir Bahloul, who declared earlier this year that Arab attacks on IDF soldiers manning check posts are not acts of terror. “I am sorry that you are the one who slammed the door,” said Herzog, who had fled the negotiations when he finally realized Netanyahu had been double-dealing with Lieberman. “I am sorry that you have chosen to abandon the benefit of the State in favor of your narrow political interest. Your Twitter may remember you favorably, but history won’t.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who opened the House debate, said, “We have a serious problem with the culture of argument here; with the ability to listen, which has deteriorated [greatly]; with the lack of respect, the blatant contempt and the obscene language. Our ideological and cultural richness is a source of uniqueness and strength, but we all have a lot of work to do in order to narrow the artificial gaps between us which some make certain are nurtured, because, truthfully, we have more things in common than things that separate us.”

“A [government] is also judged by its ability to bridge the gaps between positions and converge in order to better serve the public,” Edelstein said, concluding, “Therefore, there was no other choice but to work towards expanding the coalition. The first step in this direction should be welcomed, and I hope additional Zionist parties will join. We must stand together, better and more united, in front of the great challenges facing us. This is an important message, internally, for the Israeli public, and also externally, for all those who are eagerly waiting to see our internal disintegration – God forbid.”

MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said “Herzl envisioned a state with equal rights for women at a time when such a notion was almost avant-garde. He wrote that every citizen will be obligated to give two years for military or civil service and that religious coercion would be forbidden. He spoke of the need for a clean country that would protect the environment. He wrote about a country where education is free for everyone, where there is a clear separation between the military and politics; a state that is technologically advanced. He believed that the Arabs of the land are entitled to equal rights.”

OK, that last part, about Herzl advocating for Palestinian rights is a bit of a stretch. As Ernst Pawel noted (The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life Of Theodor Herzl, Farrar, Straus, Giroux), “His attitude toward the indigenous population was one of benign indifference at best. He never questioned the popular view of colonialism as a mission of mercy that brought the blessings of civilization to stone-age savages… He fully believed that the Palestine Arabs would welcome the Jews with open arms; after all, they only stood to gain from the material and technological progress imported by the Jews.”

Some things never change.

JNi.Media

Arab MK Refuses Holocaust Day Invite, Says It Motivates Humiliating Arabs

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) on Wednesday refused an invitation to the final memorial rally of Holocaust Day at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai (named after Mordechai Anielewicz, commander of the Jewish underground in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising). Zoabi said that “the lessons of the Holocaust should not be taught in order to increase the motivation to defend oneself by humiliating and repressing [others].” The organizers, the Havatselet group, invited all 120 Knesset members to the event on May 5.

Zoabi began her letter to the group saying she was honored to “participate in marking a human tragedy that took the lives of millions of people, and showed how far down it is possible to dive to the depths of human horror, to the boundary of the absurd and the loss of the human image.”

Then she noted, “It is an honor for me to stand in memory of the victims, but it is just as important to sound the alert for you regarding that which preceded the Holocaust and paved the road to it. And precisely for that reason I decided to refuse your invitation.”

“The memory you are reviving is not the same memory the victims now symbolize.” According to Zoabi, “the learning of the Holocaust lessons in the state is done selectively and manipulatively. … You shouldn’t teach the lessons of the Holocaust by adopting a policy of closure, extortion, robbery and murder, extrajudicial executions, arrests without a trial, torture, gag orders, persecution of demonstrators and political activists. It would be a cynical, selective, distorted exploitation against the spirit of the Holocaust.”

“You shouldn’t teach the lessons of the Holocaust when you don’t recognize the frightening likeness between what’s going on around us today and what took place in Germany in the 1930s,” Zoabi wrote.

The Havatselet group released a statement saying, “The assembly is a-political and the memory of the Holocaust is important to all mankind regardless of religion, race or sex.”

JNi.Media

Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi Sentenced to Slap on the Wrist

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi received a suspended sentence of six months’ imprisonment Sunday morning and a fine of NIS 3,000, plus three years of probation.

The slap on the wrist was handed down after the Joint Arab List MK signed a plea bargain agreement with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last December.

Zoabi was convicted on a charge of causing disgrace to a public servant, instead of being charged with racism and incitement to violence.

The indictment and conviction followed an July 2014 incident in which Zoabi was verbally whipping up a mob of Israeli Arabs outside a court house in Nazareth. She was encouraging the mob to spit in the faces of Israeli Arab police officers who were securing the site, taunting them, calling them “traitors” and telling the crowd “they should be scared of us.”

Hana Levi Julian

Body of Tel Aviv Terrorist Returned to Family, Buried in Ar’ara

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The Israeli Arab shooter who murdered three Israelis Jan. 1 in Tel Aviv was buried Wednesday in a small, quiet ceremony late Tuesday night, a short time after security authorities returned his body to the family.

The funeral, held in Wadi Ara village of Ar’ara where Nashet Melhem was raised, was limited to 80 people, primarily family members, in accordance with police directives.

Despite that, Hebrew-language media reported some of the women called out that Melhem had “died a shahid” (martyr) and was “a beloved one in God’s eyes.” The terms nowadays are used when referring to members of terrorist organizations, or lone wolf terrorists who die while carrying out attacks against others, which they call jihad, or “Islamic holy war.”

Until this past Friday, Israeli authorities and media were referring to Melhem as a “shooter.” But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically changed the reference to “terrorist” in his statements on the attacks by Saturday night, implying additional information had been uncovered in the investigation.

Mohammed Melhem, a volunteer police officer, was himself was arrested as a suspected accessory, mainly because Melhem stole his father’s weapon to carry out his attacks. He did not attend the funeral, though he probably could have, having been released from custody on Sunday; he was at home on house arrest at the time along with his son Ali, who paid a similar price for his brother’s crimes. The family attorney said in an earlier statement to media that Israeli security officials “understand” that neither of the two men were responsible for the attacks.

Nashet Melhem, 31, opened fire Jan. 1 with his father’s submachine gun at the Simta pub on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Two Israeli Jews – Alon Bakal, 26 and Shimon Raimi, 30 – were killed and eight others were wounded. Melhem then disappeared, hailing a cab to escape, and subsequently killing his driver as well: 42-year-old Israeli Bedouin Ayman Sha’aban.

In less than two hours he made it back to his home village and for the next eight days hunkered down, hiding from Israeli security. Despite the tracking efforts of hundreds of top personnel, Melhem evaded the law.

When he was finally found on Jan. 8 the terrorist first fled, racing through yards in an attempt to escape. He then turned and opened fire at the approaching security personnel who came to arrest him, and in self-defense they returned fire at the terrorist, who was shot and killed.

The question is, who aided Melhem in his escape from justice for so long? He clearly had plenty of help. Israeli authorities have poured their resources into finding out who participated in that effort, and how.

It is also revealing, and troubling, that in a legislative system designed to create and uphold a nation’s laws, that not one Israeli Arab Knesset member has denounced Melhem’s attacks. Not in Hebrew in any forum, nor in the Arabic language to their own constituencies.

Moreover, at least one veteran Israeli Arab Knesset member is actually calling on the government to “put on trial” those officers who shot and killed the terrorist, calling his death an “execution.” Balad MK Hanin Zoabi told an interviewer on the Musawa channel in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah in Samaria that “even though security forces could have arrested him, they were directed to execute him… the matter at hand is the reputation of the police state.”

That is a very grim message to the sole democracy in the Middle East. It’s a red flag that this country’s electorate should remember the next time Israelis go to the polls.

Hana Levi Julian

Suspended Sentence for Man Who Dumped Drink on Zoabi’s Head

Monday, January 11th, 2016

A man who poured his drink on the head of Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi was handed a suspended sentence of four months in jail on Sunday.

Artemi Kazrov, 28, was also ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.

In his decision at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, Judge Tzachi Uziel wrote, “An attack on an elected official because of her views demands a punitive response.

“Political or ideological violence, and even more so, physical violence toward an elected official because of his views and the fulfillment of his [public] duties represents a challenge to the rule of democracy.”

Two weeks before Knesset elections last March, Kazrov and a group of other activists attended a lecture by Zoabi on women’s rights at the Tel Aviv College of Law and Business.

From the start, their group surrounded the stage and began heckling the lawmaker, who herself has harassed numerous others.

Zoabi supporters responded in kind; one unfolded a scarf depicting the flag of the Palestinian Authority and waved it.

At that point, Hazrov climbed on to a table, grabbed a full beverage bottle and poured it over the Knesset member’s head.

He was immediately arrested and taken into custody. The following day he was indicted on charges of assault and misconduct in a public forum. Kazrov pleaded guilty and was convicted on the charges.

But the suspended sentence he received may have been in response to the slap on the wrist received by the Knesset member herself.

Zoabi was indicted last Thursday on a charge of “disgracing a public servant”

as the result of a plea bargain struck last year with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

In exchange for pleading guilty, the lawmaker will not be charged with the more serious crime of incitement to racism and making threats, both of which she could easily have been charged with numerous times.

But in particular, Weinstein announced last year he was determined this time to actually charge her with the crimes after she called a contingent of Israeli Arab security personnel “traitors” and urged a mob of demonstrators to spit in their faces.

The incident took place at a protest in front of the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in July 2014.

Zoabi also implied threats to the officers who were providing security at the event, and continued to incite the crowd over Israeli Arabs who participate in Israeli society. She blithely ignored the fact that she herself does the same and is paid more than generously for the privilege.

Hana Levi Julian

Indictment Filed Against MK Hanin Zoabi

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

MK Hanin Zoabi was indicted Thursday by the Northern District State Attorney’s Office on charges of “disgracing a public servant.”

The prosecution filed the charge as part of a plea bargain in which the Knesset member agreed to plead guilty as charged.

In return, the prosecution agreed not to charge the lawmaker with a more serious accusation of incitement to racism or threats.

The prosecution is also expected to seek a suspended prison term; Zoabi, however, is expected to vigorously oppose this and argue for a fine.

The accusation results from a July 6, 2014 incident in which Zoabi sneered at Israeli Arab security personnel. The MK told a mob of demonstrators at a court in Nazareth that Israeli Arabs who work for government security forces “should be scared of us.”

Zoabi called Israeli Arab police officers “traitors.” She told the mob to spit in their faces and made remarks with implied threats towards the officers.

The plea deal worked out with the MK was signed in December by Zoabi and outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Hana Levi Julian

MK Hanin Zoabi Denounces Lieberman’s Campaign Against Her as “Fascism”

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Arab Joint List party, the third largest faction in the Israeli Knesset, issued a statement today, stating her determination to fight a political campaign announced by Avigdor Lieberman.

The Soviet-born leader of the right-of-center Yisrael Beitenu party recently announced his campaign to “remove Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset – for good!” He also uploaded a photo of himself bearing this slogan on his Facebook page.

Lieberman also posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday that Zoabi had “supported terror against Israel and incited against our country.”

Zoabi has indeed made comments in the past, seemingly sympathetic to serious acts of terrorism. In mid 2014, when three Israeli youths were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, Zoabi said that “I can’t call this act terrorism, even if I don’t agree with it. This incident is a result of Israeli war crimes. [The terrorists] have to use these means until Israel will wake up a little, until citizens of Israel and Israeli society will wake up and feel the suffering of others.”

Zoabi was also quoted on a Hamas website encouraging Palestinians to take place in “popular resistance” and called upon Palestinians to “put Israel under siege instead of negotiating.”

“That is why I initiated legislation that will not allow the Israeli Supreme Court or any other body to overturn the decision of the Israeli Central Elections Committee to disqualify Zoabi from standing during elections,” he continued.

Zoabi, who has thrust herself into the public limelight several times in recent years released a statement this afternoon in which she described Lieberman as a “dangerous political figure” and a “fascist.”

“He is trying to gain cheap and inappropriate popularity by attacking and inciting against me and against the public that I represent,” Zoabi wrote.

The response went on to portray Zoabi and Liberman as the respective proponents of democracy and fascism: “This is a classic conflict between democracy and fascism. I represent justice, democracy and human rights, and Liberman represents fascism and hateful politics. Obviously my democratic principles irritate an opponent of democracy like Liberman.”

She expressed her determination to remain steadfast and to continue fighting for her cause. “This campaign and its name will not deter me or move me from my struggle for the values in which I believe: justice, equality, freedom and democracy. I will continue to struggle for my people and their just struggle.”

Zoabi fell out of favor with much of the Israeli public after a series of provocative actions that included participating in the Mavi Marmara Flotilla in May 2010, which sought to breach Israel’s security blockade. The flotilla contained weapon caches and armed activists. Moreover, the incident severely damaged Israeli-Turkish relations.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-hanin-zoabi-denounces-liebermans-campaign-against-her-as-fascism/2015/12/16/

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